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 By Ian Holyman

Lyon hopeful of keeping hold of Nabil Fekir amid Arsenal speculation

Nabil Fekir has scored 11 times in as many Ligue 1 games this season.

Nabil Fekir will remain at Lyon until the end of the season and possibly beyond despite claims he is close to a move to Arsenal, the French club's president has told SFR Sport.

The Daily Star reported this week that Arsenal had all but closed a £60 million deal to reunite Fekir with his former Lyon teammate Alexandre Lacazette at the Emirates Stadium in January. 

Fekir, who has scored 11 times in as many Ligue 1 games this season, was already a reported Arsenal target after his breakthrough season in 2014-15 before a serious knee ligament injury early in the following campaign seriously slowed his momentum.

But Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas is determined to hang on to his prized asset, who became club captain in the summer. 

Asked whether his sought-after attacking midfielder would remain at the club beyond the winter transfer window, Aulas said: "Of course, and nothing says he'll leave at the end of the season.

"He's under contract, he's happy in Lyon. He's enjoying a period of success football-wise, but also in terms of management as he's captain of an Olympique Lyonnais that has been able to get itself back on track, and it's also thanks to him."

When asked if Fekir could still be his player in 2018-19, Aulas said: "Of course, he has a very good chance of being [at] Lyonnais. He's a symbol.

"In between times, there will be the World Cup. If France is in the final, which I hope for, and Nabil scores the goal that makes France world champions, of course he'll get offers. But that said, we're going to do everything for Nabil to stay and I think he wants to stay."

Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman


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