Lyon are reportedly ready to part ways with playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri just months after he signed from Liverpool.
L’Equipe [via GFFN ] claims that the Ligue 1 outfit want to sell the Swiss international in the upcoming January transfer window, despite him only joining them in a £9.5million deal back in August.
Shaqiri spent three years at Anfield and won both the Champions League and the Premier League in that time.
However, he was always on the fringes of the first-team and rarely started for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
After making his move to France, Shaqiri began the new campaign well. He featured in seven of the first 10 league outings and notched his only goal to date in a 3-1 win over Troyes in September.
At the time, the 30-year-old insisted that quitting the Reds was the right thing to do.
“I’m very happy to be here,” he said at his official unveiling. “The negotiation was difficult. For me, it was clear, I wanted to come here. There really was no doubt.
“It’s a very good project with a new coach, whom I like a lot. I am a player who is always hungry to improve.
“This team has a lot of potential. They are a very successful club in France and Europe who want to win titles again.”
All going wrong for Lyon, Shaqiri
Despite his initial enthusiasm, things are not currently well for his new club. Lyon are 13th in the Ligue 1 table, some way off the fourth-placed finish they achieved last season.
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Shaqiri has also been restricted to the bench in recent weeks. Indeed, he has featured in just one of their last five league matches.
His performances for Lyon have also been described as ‘poor’ by the French media, especially for a player that earns a reported £87k a-week.
And now L’Equipe [via GFFN ] states that Shaqiri’s short stint at Lyon could be over before it’s really begun.
Liverpool duo tipped to soften ACN blow
Meanwhile, former Liverpool defender Steve Nicol believes that Divock Origi and Roberto Firmino can soften the blow when Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane depart for the Africa Cup of Nations.
The Reds have for so long relied on star forwards Salah and Mane to deliver winning goals. Indeed, the pair proved crucial in Liverpool’s Champions League and Premier League triumphs.
However, in Tuesday’s defeat to Leicester, Jurgen Klopp’s men paid the price for wasteful finishing.
Salah, usually so reliable from the spot, had a penalty saved and his rebound hit the bar. Mane, meanwhile, blasted a shot over the bar when one-on-one with Foxes goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
Egypt international Salah and Senegal star Mane now only have Sunday’s crunch clash with Chelsea before they travel to the Africa Cup of Nations.
The pair will still miss key matches in January, such as the two-legged Carabao Cup semi-final against Arsenal.
But Liverpool will have Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino and Takumi Minamino in their ranks. As a result, Nicol has insisted that his former side will “get past” their key absences.
“Yeah [it’s a problem] and they’ve known that this is coming along,” the pundit told ESPN FC.
“I guess the positive thing is that Firmino is almost 100 per cent, so he’ll be able to come in.
“No question, your top goalscorer isn’t going to be there, your other player in Mane, who’s been struggling, isn’t going to be there, who you expect at some stage to start scoring again.
“So yeah, it’s a question and Liverpool usually come up with an answer. Mr Origi, who usually appears when things seem lost, is going to have to step into the breach and maybe put his two pence in.
“So yeah, it’s a problem, but I think Liverpool will get past it.”