Fabinho wants France's Fekir to join him at Reds

Fabinho calls Liverpool "a giant of a team" after becoming the first summer signing for the Reds. He hopes to win titles at Anfield.
Fabinho calls Liverpool "a giant of a team" after becoming the first summer signing for the Reds. He hopes to win titles at Anfield.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LONDON • After leaving Monaco for Liverpool, Fabinho is hoping that France and Lyon forward Nabil Fekir will join him at Anfield.

"He is a very good player, of international level," the 24-year-old told French outlet RMC Sport.

"In Ligue 1, it is not only this season that he has demonstrated things. For a few years he has shown his quality. If he comes, it will be good too."

Liverpool target Fekir scored 18 goals and had eight assists in Ligue 1 last season and is valued at about £60 million (S$107 million).

The Merseyside club are expecting a busy transfer window after making Fabinho their first summer signing on Monday.

Sources in France indicate that the £39.3 million deal could rise by another £4.3 million in bonuses, and a five-year contract has been prepared for the defensive midfielder.

Fabinho told Liverpoolfc.com: "I am really excited about this move. This is something that I always wanted - this is a giant of a team.

"I will try to create my own history at this football club. Hopefully, on a personal level, I'm able to win titles with this club."

Liverpool will lose Emre Can to Juventus after the Germany midfielder rejected offers of a new contract, and Fabinho was the main target to strengthen that area and add competition for the role as a No. 6.

The club see Naby Keita, who will officially become a Red on July 1 after a £52 million deal with Bundesliga side RB Leipzig was agreed last summer, as an attacking midfielder next season.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp expressed his excitement about the arrival of Fabinho, who has been capped four times for Brazil.

"We have signed a fantastic player, but someone who is an equally fantastic person I think," Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.

"His reputation as a character in the dressing room and his attitude in training has come through from everyone we speak to.

"He has the ability and mentality to play at the highest level in a number of positions. He can play (as a No. 6, No. 8 and No. 2). This is cool.

"He is tactically very strong and football smart. I think he improves our squad and there aren't that many players you can say that about in this moment, because the quality we have already is so high."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 30, 2018, with the headline 'Fabinho wants France's Fekir to join him at Reds'. Print Edition | Subscribe