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09th Jun 2018

Xherdan Shaqiri’s response to question about Liverpool rumours tells us everything

He's been strongly linked with a move to Liverpool

Reuben Pinder

He surely won’t be playing at Stoke next season

This season Liverpool showed us that on their day, they can beat anyone. The addition of Virgil van Dijk in January went a long way to addressing their defensive issues and Mo Salah hit the ground running, scoring 32 league goals.

The suffered the ultimate heartbreak in the Champions League final, but will be optimistic of mounting a genuine title challenge next season, and hopefully another run in Europe. The Reds have already signed midfielders Fabinho and Naby Keita, adding depth ad quality to the engine room with the ideal type of players for Jürgen Klopp’s high pressing system, and now they’re looking for another attacker.

Whenever one of their front three was unavailable during the 2017/18 campaign, it showed. If they are to challenge Man City for the title next season, they will need better options from the bench to facilitate rotation without suffering from such a downgrade in quality. Liverpool have been chasing Nabil Fekir, who could play as a number 10 behind Roberto Firmino or as the main centre-forward, but there are concerns over past knee injuries that have cast doubt on whether the move will go through.

They have now turned their focus towards Xherdan Shaqiri, who has just been relegated with Stoke City. A player of his quality will surely not want to play in the Championship next season, and Liverpool are interested in bringing him to Anfield.

The forward was asked about the rumours after beating Japan 2-0 with his native Switzerland. While he tried not to give too much away, his chuckles tell us everything we need to know.

Liverpool will hope to get this deal wrapped up before the World Cup starts, given what a good tournament can do to a player’s value and the fact that the transfer window will close earlier than usual this summer.

While the window usually closes at the end of August, this summer it will close on August 9th, before the Premier League season starts. With a World Cup taking place, Premier League clubs will have very little time for transfer sagas.