Despite being a reported target for Arsenal, suggested by ESPN FC and the Independent, Lyon’s 21-year-old playmaker, Nabil Fekir, seems set to begin negotiations with the French league leaders to extend his current contract.
Fekir's current contract was only extended until 2019 in the summer and French newspaper L’Equipe is reporting on Thursday morning that an appointment has been made with President Jean-Michel Aulas for this weekend, in order to discuss a further extension and salary increase.
That is bad news for any interested clubs, it doesn’t rule out a transfer in the near future, but it does mean they will have to cross Lyon’s palm with a huge amount of silver.
Fekir is enjoying an excellent season for OL, beside Alexandre Lacazette, the Franco-Algerian has scored eight goals and contributed five assists and has been integral to Lyon’s phenomenal season.
Earlier in the season, Fekir was named as part of France’s Under-21 squad, but his international future has caused something of a heated discussion. His father is convinced he will play for Algeria, but the player resisted the temptation to declare himself for the Desert Foxes before the current African Cup of Nations tournament.
It has been advised that the player concentrates on his current season before making any international decision, and it is clear that has helped the creative midfielder explode in recent months.
Fekir has shown that he can play as a number 10 playmaker, but he has also been partnering Lacazette in Lyon’s two-man attack. His pace off the ball, ability to pick a pass and his skill on the dribble makes him such a dangerous all-round threat.
It may be a bad move for Fekir to leave Ligue 1 before he really has time to develop properly and improve his game. Physically he is already strong, but another 18 months in France with Lyon could help him deal with the rigours of playing for a very successful team, then he would be ready for a move to the likes of Arsenal or Manchester City.