Southampton manager Mark Hughes is ready to battle Champions League outfit Tottenham for the signature of Stoke City playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri, according to the Mirror.
The Mirror claim that Hughes is ready to step up his efforts to reunite with Shaqiri after he spoke out to confirm his desire to depart the relegated Potters.
It goes on to say that Hughes wants to sign Shaqiri for a second time – it was the Welshman who brought the pocket rocket to Stoke initially – by activating his £12m release clause, the ins and outs of which he should know all about, being the man who oversaw the signing of the contract.
It also reports that Southampton face competition from Tottenham, who are also tracking the playmaker and Daniel Levy is no doubt interested by his cut-price release clause in what is sure to be a pricey transfer market this summer.
Shaqiri was by far Stoke’s standout player as the Potters battled relegation, even under Hughes, the man who brought him into English football.
He is a player with the talent to grace any top six side – as evidenced by Spurs’ interest – and the kind of reliable creator that Southampton need to ease the reliance on the inconsistent Dusan Tadic.
Southampton have a squad that should not be down in the relegation battle and although the choice of Hughes as manager is underwhelming, if he can get the best out of Shaqiri, he would have an exciting side on his hands next season.