Premier League • England

Former Liverpool striker stokes fires for Prem return; clause gives Klopp the edge

Union Berlin striker Taiwo Awoniyi

Former Liverpool striker Taiwo Awoniyi has revealed why a Premier League return could be in his future, and a contract clause could give the Reds a transfer edge, per a report.

The Nigerian, 24, was sold to Bundesliga outfit Union Berlin for £6.5m last summer. Awoniyi had been on Liverpool’s books since 2015, though never made a senior appearance in red. However, that was not due to a lack of ability on Awoniyi’s end.

Liverpool struggled for years to secure a work permit for the forward. That resulted in seven different loan spells across Europe before the plug was finally pulled last July.

Awoniyi moved to Berlin after impressing on loan the year before. And since arriving permanently, he has blazed a trail in Germany.

He has operated at one goal in two this season with 14 goals in 28 matches across all competitions. His nine Bundesliga goals have helped thrust Union Berlin into the chase for Champions League football, with the side currently sitting in fourth place.

However, when speaking to German publication Kicker recently, Awoniyi explained why a return to England is his “dream”.

Awoniyi family members still living in England

“The Premier League is my dream,” said Awoniyi. “Everyone knows that, including here in the club.

“If I lived in England, it would be easier for my wife and child, just by myself because of the language. Also, my sister and a brother live on the island.”

Klopp in unprecedented Liverpool position and the results could be thrilling

Klopp in unprecedented Liverpool position and the results could be thrilling

Liverpool are still in four competitions going into the business end of the season - and have the best squad of the Jurgen Klopp era to match.

Online outlet HITC report Liverpool negotiated a 10 percent sell-on clause in Awoniyi’s deal. The publication state Liverpool would therefore be entitled to a ‘discount’ if they made an effort to re-sign the marksman.

At present, there is no indication Liverpool are attempting to do just that. Though if Awoniyi’s dream of returning to England is to be realised, his prior connections on Merseyside would seemingly make Liverpool a frontrunner in the race.

Liverpool miss out on £4.5m windfall

Meanwhile, Liverpool have missed out on around a £4.5million windfall on the deal that took Xherdan Shaqiri to Lyon last summer – with the midfielder announcing his departure from France in a move to Chicago Fire.

After making his move to France, Shaqiri began the new campaign well. He featured in seven of the first 10 league outings and notched 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 doDespite his initial enthusiasm, the move to France quickly turned sour. In total, he made just 16 appearances for Lyon, falling out of favour under coach Rudi Garcia.

And with the club down in eighth place in Ligue 1, they quickly accepted an offer from Chicago Fire to move him to MLS.

However, as it has transpired, the transfer has not done Liverpool’s finances any favours. That’s after the Reds sold Shaqiri to Lyon for just an initial £5m. That deal was heavily incentivised, with bonuses taking Lyon’s total outlay to £9.5m if all objectives were met.

However, the Daily Express writes that not one of those targets was achieved, meaning Liverpool missing out on £4.5m in add-ons. To rub salt into their wounds, Lyon have made a profit themselves on Shaqiri, selling him to the Fire for £6m on Wednesday.

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