Liverpool target makes shock La Liga move

Tuesday July 23 2019

Lyon's French forward Nabil Fekir celebrates after scoring a goal with teammates during their Ligue 1 match against Monaco at the Groupama Stadium in Decines-Charpieu near Lyon, France on December 16, 2018. Real Betis on July 23, 2019 made official the arrival of French world champion Nabil Fekir, who signed until 2023 with the Andalusian club. PHOTO | ROMAIN LAFABREGUE |



French World Cup winning midfielder Nabil Fekir has completed a surprising move from Lyon to Real Betis, the La Liga club announced on Tuesday.

"Real Betis and Olympique Lyonnais have reached an agreement for the transfer of midfielder Nabil Fekir," the club stated on its website.

"The French international has signed a contract until 2023 with the Green and White club. Fekir becomes the fourth team signing for the season 2019/2020.

"With the arrival of Fekir, Real Betis acquire creativity, great technique, shooting ability and attacking edge."

No transfer fee has been made public although reports in France and Spain put the fee at just over Sh2.3 billion (20 million euros) which could rise by another Sh1.1 billion (10 million euros) through bonuses.


Fekir, who has signed a five-year deal, and Betis both have a 20 percent sell-on clause included in the deal.

In spite of a likely pay rise from his Lyon salary, estimated by L'Equipe at Sh40.5 million (350,000 euros) a month, it appears a surprising move for the 26-year-old on a football front.

Unlike Lyon, who qualified for this season's Champions League, Seville club Betis have no European competition after finishing 10th in La Liga last season.

A year ago, Fekir came close to signing for Liverpool for Sh8.1 billion (70 million euros), negotiations only breaking down when he went to Anfield for the medical.

With just a year left on his contract at Lyon, and after a season in which he scored just nine goals, he had also been linked with Sevilla, Valencia and Napoli.

Fekir has won 21 caps for France and came on as a late substitute in last year's World Cup final win against Croatia in Moscow.