Not sure if you heard, but this whole getting Nabil Fekir from Lyon to Liverpool thing is proving rather laborious at the moment. An 11th hour complication in virtually-finalized negotiations over a move for the French star—possibly something to do with that balky knee—has ground the £52.8m move to a halt, at least for the time being.
Whilst Reds fans wait for the club to clap back to Lyon’s (since-retracted) sneak diss like it’s the next round of the Pusha T-Drake beef, attention among many has now turned to another area of need, namely depth along the forward line.
Xherdan Shaqiri’s name has come up from reliable sources as being of interest to Jürgen Klopp, with reports citing the paltry £12m release clause in the Swiss international’s current contract with the freshly-relegated Stoke City as an attractive proposition in what is shaping up to be a summer of lavish spending elsewhere in the squad.
In his first press conference as new Stoke boss, Gary Rowett opened the door for a move for his star, trotting out the familiar line about “only wanting players who are committed to the cause” when questioned about the Shaqiri links:
”No player will leave the club that is contractually with the club unless the club feel it is a good deal and the right deal for them,” said Rowett, as reported by Sky Sports.
”That is the most important thing but on the flip side to that, if players say they want to leave, then I want to work with players that want to be at the club. I want to put players on the pitch next season that want to be in a different league and understand the challenges of that league.
”I want players who are committed to Stoke City and if players want to leave I will try and find the best solution to make that happen if that is the case.”
The player himself stopped just short of confirming that discussions are currently happening between Liverpool and his representation when recently questioned by Swiss outlet Blick:
“Anfield stadium is great, definitely,” said the man known to his close friends and family as ‘Powercube’.
“I can’t tell you anything right now, I think my agents take care of my future. I’m focusing on the national team right now.”
It’s a move for a Premier League-proven talent that appears to be in the offing; and while he’s certainly no Fekir, Shaqiri might just be the rebound transfer Liverpool needs.