Liverpool could sign either Nabil Fekir or Xherdan Shaqiri in the next 24 hours, with Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas worried about the effect that not starting at the World Cup will have on the former’s value.
This is according to the Independent’s brilliant Simon Hughes. He reports that chances of Liverpool signing “at least one target” in the next 24 hours have increased “dramatically.”
His bold claim has put fans on red alert after the way a deal for AS Monaco’s Fabinho was announced within hours of reports first emerging in France.
While it seems unlikely that Liverpool can replicate such efficiency in a transfer market known for throwing up surprises, it would appear as though a deal for Fekir is inching closer while Xherdan Shaqiri seems like a very probable target for the Reds.
Shaqiri and Fekir fit into Klopp’s plans as “two new creative additions capable of functioning in a number of attacking positions.”
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The Stoke City winger is capable of playing anywhere across a front three and would be a very good (and cheap) option from the bench while Nabil Fekir can play on either wing, as a false nine and a little bit deeper as a number 10.
The duo would be great for Jürgen Klopp’s tactical flexibility as it would enable him to have a couple different systems up his sleeve for when his favoured 4-3-3 isn’t working out very well.
Fekir, Hughes writes, will cost significantly more than Shaqiri due to Jean-Michel Aulas’ hardball negotiating but the Lyon president has come to realise dragging talks out over the World Cup could negatively impact Fekir’s price.
Fekir has told Aulas and Lyon that he doesn’t see his future anywhere but Lyon and that, coupled with the fact that Houssem Aouar is viewed as a readymade replacement for the older French midfielder, means a deal for the Lyon playmaker should be a lot more straightforward from here on out.
Hughes writes that a crucial turning point for Liverpool is the fact that Fekir did not feature when France beat Italy 3-1 last weekend, prompting Aulas to realise that a “pre-World agreement just might be the best way forward for Lyon.
Signing Shaqiri or Fekir within the next 24 hours would be another statement of intent from Liverpool as the Reds look to take the Premier League by storm next season.