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Rumour Mongering: Shaqiri Snubs Manchester United

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Reports out of Switzerland have Liverpool closing on a deal for Xherdan Shaqiri, with the player preferring Champions League football to playing for a Manchester United side in transition.

Lennart Preiss

According to reports out of Switzerland that have begun to show up in some of the less reputable corners of the English media though that are as yet unconfirmed by journalists with ties to to the club, Liverpool have intensifiedtheir efforts to land Bayern Munich attacker Xherdan Shaqiri. And fans may just have reason to celebrate, as it is believed Shaqiri favours Liverpool.

The 22-year-old arrived at Bayern as one of the most impressive young talents in European football two years ago, but injuries and an exceptionally deep squad have kept him on the fringes. Now rumoured to be available for around £15M, Liverpool have spent much of the summer so far at least lightly linked to the player. Over the past week they were joined there by Manchester United.

If the reports out of Switzerland are true, though, Shaqiri values the opportunity to be a regular contributor for a side in the Champions League over joining a United in transition—even if there's a chance United would be willing to pay him a little more than Liverpool. As with reports of Spurs backing off Liverpool targets Adam Lallana and Alberto Moreno, it's a sign of what Champions League involvement can do for player recruitment.

Just a year ago, Liverpool lost out on Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Borussia Dortmund despite offering the player higher wages than the Germans. In recent years, Liverpool have been beaten to targets by Spurs, with the London club seen as being on an upward trajectory while Liverpool idled. This summer, it's Liverpool who get to hold out the promise of Champions League football.

There's already reason to believe that played a role in landing Emre Can, and it's certainly made Liverpool a desirable destination for target Adam Lallana, who remains uninterested in what he perceives would be a sideways move to the likes of Spurs or United. Now, according to reports in Shaqiri's homeland, that advantage may be about to pay off again.