Steve Bruce must urge Mike Ashley to sanction a January swoop for Liverpool winger Xherdan Shaqiri amid claims of interest from Newcastle United.
According to The Telegraph, Bruce would love to strengthen the Toon first-team in the winter market with the additions of three quality arrivals as he looks to finalise deals for a new box-to-box midfielder, full-back and creative wide forward.
Ashley is expected to grant Bruce his wishes should the Magpies manage to offload a handful of those currently deemed surplus to requirements, otherwise favour the arrival of one key player on loan.
Among the candidates touted for a mid-season switch to St. James’ Park is Liverpool winger Shaqiri, who has seen his future at Anfield thrown into chaos with Jurgen Klopp’s champions open to selling this month but hesitant to cash in after Diogo Jota sustained a knee injury.
Shaqiri has been linked with moves away from Merseyside for the past year, with AS Roma and Sevilla told it would cost them €30m (£26.5m) to finalise a deal 12-months ago, while Fenerbahce are expected to revive their interest after Klopp called off a loan move at the eleventh hour last summer.
The Swiss international also weighed up a Bundesliga return in the off-season after an injury-plagued 2019/20 season, only to endure further struggles with a muscular issue seeing the 29-year-old make only his third Premier League appearance of the campaign away to Newcastle last month.
Liverpool will likely consider selling Shaqiri in the January market should they receive a suitable offer, with it believed the £14.5m-rated attacker is seen as a player the Reds’ can use to fund a move for a new defender.
If a deal for Shaqiri is there to be had, Bruce must urge Ashley to sanction a swoop to solve his search for a creative wide option with Newcastle’s current squad often failing to produce the needed touch in the final third.
Matt Ritchie has provided a key pass every 30 minutes when fielded in a wide midfield role, which is enough for the 31-year-old to lead the charts for Magpies players who have played over 100 Premier League minutes in a wide forward role this season, per WhoScored.
Allan Saint-Maximin has so far offered a key pass every 57.5 minutes, before Bruce sees a drastic drop to Miguel Almiron (100.5), Jacob Murphy (123.5), Joelinton (126.5) and Jeff Hendrick (422).
Shaqiri may hardly have featured thus far this season as a result of his continued injuries, yet provided an assist in his top-flight campaign debut with a smart pass through to Jota against West Ham United in October.
Former England international Darren Bent continues to be a vivid advocate of the attacker’s talents, too, which would be more than welcome at St. James’ Park this winter.
“He’s still a very, very good player, he can still make things happen, he’s got a great left foot, great technique and there are going to be clubs out there that would love to have him in their squad,” Bent told Football Insider.