LIVERPOOL are ready to step up their interest in signing Xherdan Shaqiri – once the World Cup finishes next month.
The Reds have shown an interest in signing the Stoke forward following the club’s relegation from the Premier League last season.
According to the Mirror, boss Jurgen Klopp has sounded out the Swiss international about the possibility of making a £12million move to Anfield and received encouraging feedback.
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And it is claimed the club will step up their efforts to reach an agreement with Stoke when the tournament in Russia concludes.
But if Liverpool do press ahead with signing the 26-year-old winger, it will not be as an alternative to Lyon star Nabil Fekir.
The France international’s anticipated £57m move to Merseyside collapsed over the weekend amid criticism from the Lyon president.
Fekir, 24, was the man who was being targeted to fill the playmaker role in Klopp’s squad following the departure of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in January.
And though Shaqiri was the creative force in the Stoke side, he is not seen by Klopp as the major arrival Liverpool want to replace Coutinho.
It is almost certain the former Inter Milan star will be on his way out of the Bet365 Stadium over the course of the close season.
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Manager Gary Rowett is aware several of his big names will be picked off this summer, with Shaqiri on of them.
It is understood the player has a relegation clause in his contract allowing him to leave for the same money Stoke paid Inter to sign him – £12m.
And at that price he is seen as a bargain by Liverpool to add to their attacking options, having proven himself in the Premier League over the past three years.
Other clubs have also shown an interest at that price, with both Southampton and Tottenham checking on his availability.
But it is Liverpool who appear to be at the head of the queue, once Swizterland’s involvement in Russia 2018 is over.
The Swiss are hopeful of making it through to at least the last-16 of the tournament, having been drawn in Group E along with Brazil, Serbia and Costa Rica.
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