Stoke facing battle to keep key man as Dortmund eye up Mkhitaryan replacement

Bundesliga heavyweights Dortmund are looking at Stoke City’s Xherdan Shaqiri as they plan for life without Henrikh Mkhitaryan, according to reports from The Sun.

The Switzerland international signed for the Potters from Inter Milan last summer, and although he was inconsistent in the red and white shirt, he’s considered to be one of Mark Hughes’ key players.

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However, the Welshman may struggle to keep him at the Britannia Stadium, with Dortmund reportedly keen on him after selling Mkhitaryan to Manchester United.

Athough Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang won many of the headlines last season for the BuLi team, their Armenian playmaker was just as vital, leading the way in terms of assists for his team.

His influence will clearly be missed at the Westfalenstadion, and it’s understood that Shaqiri is a player they’re now looking at as they plot for 2016/17.

The 24-year-old was signed for a then club-record £12m last year, and Stoke would expect to make a hefty profit on the man dubbed the ‘Alpine Messi’ just 12 months on.