Monday, 7 May 2018

Chelsea join fight for Lyon’s midfielder


Lyon captain Nabil Fekir has insisted there is nothing to reports that Liverpool and Chelsea are chasing the €60 million-rated midfielder.

Sources told ESPN FC on Sunday that Liverpool are not close to a deal with Fekir after Canal+ reported a €70 million deal has been brokered by Gerard Houllier, the club’s former manager and now a special advisor to Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas.

L’Equipe reported on Sunday that Fekir has a verbal agreement with Lyon that he can leave this summer despite having two years left on his contract.

“There’s nothing for the moment. I’m still at Lyon,” Fekir said when asked about his future after Lyon’s 3-0 win over Troyes on Sunday. “There are two matches left. We’ll prepare for them in the best possible way. At the end of the season, we’ll see, but for the moment, there’s nothing.”

Chelsea have also been put forward as most ardent suitors of Fekir, who has scored a career-best 17 league goals this season. Manchester United reportedly enquired about Fekir’s availability at the start of the season and Arsenal are also reported to have been long-time admirers.

Liverpool barely need additions to their front line, but Sadio Mane believes if Fekir arrives at Anfield, he would add something extra to Jurgen Klopp’s team.

“Nabil is a really great player,” Mane told SFR Sport. “If it is the case, we’ll be really very happy to have him with us. I think he will do great things with us. He’s going to enjoy himself here.

“You always need that kind of player. If we get him, it’s going to be crazy.”

Crystal Palace dominate Sky Sports Power Rankings after penultimate weekend

Crystal Palace players dominate the Sky Sports Power Rankings after securing their Premier League status and relegating Stoke with a 2-1 win on Saturday.

Wilfried Zaha topped the chart for a fifth week running, while Patrick van Aanholt soared seven places to land runner-up spot after netting a late match-winner at the Bet365 Stadium.

Earlier in the game, Ruben Loftus-Cheek (No 5, up 12 places) assisted James McArthur (No 10, up 20 places) to equalise after Xherdan Shaqiri had put the Potters ahead from a deflected free-kick.

Alexandre Lacazette (No 3, up 15 places) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (No 6, up 86 places) helped departing Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger sign off in style at the Emirates, with the former scoring and assisting and the latter netting twice and teeing up Alex Iwobi during a 5-0 victory over Burnley.

West Brom midfielder Jake Livermore scored a dramatic late winner against Spurs after a goalmouth scramble to evade relegation for a fourth successive weekend – maintaining hopes of a remarkable great escape.

Southampton’s Dusan Tadic (No 4, down two places) was involved in Nathan Redmond’s opener at Everton – but the Saints failed to secure top-flight survival after Idrissa Gueye (No 9, up one place) assisted Tom Davies’ 96th-minute leveller.

Meanwhile, Chelsea stopper Thibaut Courtois fired 50 places up the chart to No 8 after keeping his second successive clean sheet and making five saves during a 1-0 win over Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

The Power Rankings methodology reflects a player’s performance over the last five Premier League matchdays by awarding points to players for 32 different stats.

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