Liverpool forward Xherdan Shaqiri has taken a significant step towards the Anfield exit door after agreeing personal terms with Lyon.
According to a report from French outlet L’Equipe, the 29-year-old has agreed personal terms with the Ligue 1 giants, although the two clubs are continuing to negotiate a transfer fee.
The Athletic’s Liverpool reporter James Pearce recently that Lyon have seen their opening bid for Shaqiri rejected by the Reds, with other potential suitors across the continent also registering their interest in the Switzerland international.
“Lyon have made contact with Liverpool in the past 24 hours. Their initial offer fell a long way short of the club’s £12 million valuation. Lazio and Napoli have also registered their interest in Shaqiri in recent weeks. It remains to be seen whether Lyon return with an improved bid,” he wrote.
Shaqiri outlined his desire to depart the club earlier in the summer after becoming frustrated with his lack of game time in an interview with Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport (via Football Italia).
“My contract (with) Liverpool expires in 2022, In 2018; I signed a four-year deal. The important thing at this moment in my career is to be able to play regularly, but that hasn’t always been the case in the last three seasons,” Shaqiri admitted.
“This is why I told Liverpool that I feel ready for a new challenge. They accepted my wish and will seriously consider the offers that will come. They will not stop me.”
After joining Liverpool for just £13.5 million from Stoke City back in 2018 thanks to a relegation release clause, Shaqiri made a solid start to life on Merseyside, scoring six goals and providing five assists in 30 appearances.
However, a string of minor injuries has seriously hampered his progression and limited the diminutive forward’s time on the pitch, meaning he’s only started 18 Premier League games over the last three seasons.
Therefore, a large section of the club’s supporters will surely be delighted that Shaqiri is nearing the exit door. Although he can be a top-class performer on his day, the former Bayern Munich ace failed to show his best form on a consistent basis under Klopp’s tutelage, eventually becoming a liability to the German tactician.
The proceeds from his sale would add a significant boost to Liverpool’s relatively limited transfer budget, potentially allowing Klopp to secure one of his much-needed transfer targets before the window closes.
Furthermore, Liverpool must free up a space for a non-home grown player if they want to make a foreign signing of their own so Shaqiri’s exit could allow the Reds to bring in a new face, something that would delight the club’s supporters.