According to The ECHO, Liverpool have been open to the sale of winger Xherdan Shaqiri since January.
Shaqiri, 28, is currently contracted at the club until 2023 but recent reports indicate that the Switzerland international has been identified by the club as a viable route to raising funds at the club.
The Independent recently claimed that despite Shaqiri showcasing no desire to leave Anfield this summer, Klopp is reportedly open to the possibility of a sale.
The ECHO reported back in March that Liverpool had privately indicated their willingness to sell the former Stoke City forward this summer, who they felt that they could raise £25 million for.
However, Shaqiri has proven a difficult task to get off the wage bill as not only does the player himself have no interest in leaving the club but a number of previously interested parties have proven unwilling to meet Liverpool’s demands regarding price.
Liverpool were forced to turn down approaches from both Roma and Sevilla earlier this year, as the club were not willing to sell one of their players midway during the season but did indicate they would be willing to listen to offers come the summer [BBC].
However, reputable Liverpool journalist Melissa Reddy recently confirmed that Shaqiri – who currently earns £80,000-a-week according to Spotrac – had not expressed any sort of desire to leave the club either privately or publicly.
This was backed up by The ECHO’s Liverpool correspondent Paul Gorst, who claimed that despite Liverpool’s willingness to sell, the Reds maintain a relaxed approach and if no buyers are found then Klopp will happily keep Shaqiri as part of his senior squad for the coming season.
Speaking during a Q&A for the ECHO, Gorst said: “Liverpool are definitely open to offers for Shaqiri but unlike January when Sevilla and Roma got in contact, no-one has been forthcoming as of yet, I believe.
“Again, the club are relaxed. If no buyers are found, he will stay. If he plays like his first season, he could still be a real asset. Injuries have massively hurt him though, no question.”
What RTK has to say
Despite reports that indicate Liverpool could look to sell Shaqiri, we feel that considering the season is just days away from restarting Klopp could be looking at ways to rediscover the forward’s best form at the club.
Klopp has been experimenting with his formations throughout pre-season as well as the decision to utilise a 4-2-3-1 system in the second half of the Community Shield last week.
The system worked well for Liverpool and gave the Reds a fresh edge in attack. It also made them more unpredictable given Klopp has heavily relied on his trusted 4-3-3 system in the past.
It revitalised Liverpool’s attack on the day and can do so over the coming season. It suits various players, after all, and allows Klopp to switch things up without changing the personnel too much.
Shaqiri was a real bargain at £13 million when he arrived in 2018. He had a scintillating start to his time on Merseyside, too, particularly at the end of that year. But things quickly tailed off. Shaqiri’s time in the first-team was restricted and by the end of the 2018/19 season, he was rarely used by Klopp.
And that’s something he never moved past last year, either. He was restricted to just seven Premier League games during Liverpool’s procession to the title and had just two starts in all competitions. Injuries certainly played the biggest role but they weren’t the only problem.
If Shaqiri is to find his feet again and become a player Klopp can trust to add another element to Liverpool’s attack then keeping him could be in the club’s immediate interests
Liverpool aren’t exactly spoilt for choice with attacking deputies and the former Bayern Munich sensation did have one outstanding moment last year, though. One of his two starts came against Everton at Anfield back in December during a fixture where Klopp made wholesale changes.
Eyebrows were certainly raised yet the Swiss star played excellently, scoring his only goal of the season and dominating from a statistical point of view. His 55 touches were more than any other attacker on the pitch – 16 more than Sadio Mane.
Tellingly, that game was the only occasion last season that Klopp decided to utilise a 4-2-3-1 system.
Shaqiri thrived from that particular formation on numerous occasions during his inaugural Anfield campaign.
If Klopp is to look to use it again it could see Shaqiri become a great option for the club once again.
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