Liverpool have agreed a deal to sell wantaway forward Xherdan Shaqiri to French outfit Lyon.
According to Sky Sports, a final fee of £9.5m (€11m) has been approved by both clubs, with the Switzerland international expected to arrive at the Groupama Stadium imminently.
Shaqiri revealed in a recent interview that his wish to depart Liverpool in search of regular game time had been granted by the club’s hierarchy and now he appears set for a switch to Ligue 1.
The 29-year-old forward arrived at Anfield back in 2018 for a £13.5m fee thanks to a relegation release clause inserted into his contract at Stoke City.
During his time on Merseyside, Shaqiri helped Jurgen Klopp’s charges claim the Premier League title and Champions League crown. However, a string of niggling injuries meant he played a very limited role in the club’s success.
Over the last couple of campaigns, the diminutive attacker has started just seven Premier League games, contributing to only three goals in the process.
Shaqiri’s reduced playing time led to increased speculation that the former Bayern Munich and Inter Milan ace would seek pastures new this summer, with Klopp keen to offload several fringe players to boost his limited transfer budget.
And it appears all parties are set for a happy conclusion. Although the creative talent has produced some memorable moments for Liverpool on the pitch, his unreliability often frustrated the supporters, and a large section of the fans will surely be buzzing to see him depart.
The substantial fee generated from his sale may allow the club to bring in just their second signing of the summer, even though a direct replacement now appears unlikely.
Sky’s report claims: “Liverpool have been planning for Shaqiri’s inevitable exit for the past 12 months, sanctioning Harvey Elliot’s loan to Blackburn to give him much-needed game time and the platform to see if he could perform week in week out in senior football.
“Game time in the Premier League and FA Cup is also likely to be filled by Kade Gordon, who has emerged as a rising star over pre-season, whilst there are high hopes for Elliott performing on both the Premier League and Champions League stage.”
Therefore, a central midfielder, to succeed the departed Gini Wijnaldum, seems more likely to be targeted than an extra winger.
Shaqiri’s exit may be met with some regret by the fans who may think ‘what could have been if not for the persistent fitness concerns?’ but if Director of Football Michael Edwards uses the proceeds well, it’ll be a celebrated deal, especially now that the Swiss star’s exit will free up a place for a non-homegrown player in the Reds’ squad.