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11th Jul 2018

Liverpool close in on Xherdan Shaqiri as negotiations begin with Stoke

Shaqiri is thought to be available on the cheap

Simon Lloyd

Let’s just forget all about this World Cup fever malarkey for a minute of two, shall we?

Instead, let’s indulge ourselves in some hot-off-the-press transfer gossip involving Xherdan Shaqiri.

The Swiss international will leave relegated Stoke City this summer, this much we knew already. Before the World Cup, it was revealed that his ridiculously cheap release clause was attracting interest from several Premier League clubs with Liverpool said to be interested.

Now, with Switzerland knocked out of the World Cup by Sweden last week, it seems Shaqiri’s future could be resolved imminently, with a report in The Telegraph claiming a move to Anfield looks likely.

The report says that Liverpool have already opened discussions with Stoke over a deal for the former Bayern Munich and Inter Milan player, with Jurgen Klopp said to be keen to add him to his squad in time for the new season.

Shaqiri arrived at Stoke three years ago but has openly admitted he wants to play elsewhere after the club were relegated at the end of last season.

Since their season ended with defeat in the Champions League final to Real Madrid, Liverpool have added Brazilian midfielder Fabinho to their side from AS Monaco.

They were thought to have been close to completing a move for Lyon’s Nabil Fekir, only for the move to collapse at the eleventh hour. Fekir is currently part of the French squad which have made it to the World Cup final. His agent suggested earlier this month that a move to Anfield could be resurrected once he returns from the tournament, whereas Lyon’s president has suggested other clubs are now interested in his signature.

For now though, it seems Liverpool are prioritising a move for Shaqiri, with developments expected before the end of the week.