When Stoke City were relegated at the end of the 2017-18 season, it was always expected that Xherdan Shaqiri would look to exploit a £12M relegation release clause to make the switch to a new club. The only real question was which club that would end up being.
Today, following Switzerland’s World Cup exit, Shaqiri has confirmed that he will indeed be leaving Stoke—and that he will be moving to a club currently in the Premier League. For now, though, he isn’t saying which club it is that he’ll be moving to in the coming days.
“I want to continue with a big team and I want to stay in the Premier League,” Shaqiri, who has been heavily linked with a move to Liverpool since before the World Cup kicked off last month, told the Swiss media this week. “Soon you will find out my new team.”
In addition to Liverpool, there have also been links in recent days between Shaqiri and Manchester United, and if the Swiss international ended up at either club he would arrive as a back-up to more established attacking players and be expected to fight for minutes.
And though it’s always possible Shaqiri might in the end choose a mid-table side and the promise of guaranteed playing time, stating he wants to play with a big team suggests a club of the calibre of Liverpool or United is likely where he will end up.