(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 29, 2019 Lyon’s French midfielder Nabil Fekir celebrates after Lyon won the French L1 football match Stade Rennais vs Olympique Lyonnais (OL) at the Roazhon Park stadium in Rennes, western France.
LOIC VENANCE / AFP

 

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

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“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.”

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No transfer fee has been made public although reports in France and Spain put the fee at just over 20 million euros which could rise by another 10 million 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 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 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.

AFP

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