Stoke boss Gary Rowett has given the green light for Jurgen Klopp to step up his interest in Xherdan Shaqiri.
Liverpool were hoping to wrap up the £53million signing of Nabil Fekir on Friday, but with the deal now in doubt over a knee problem, the Anfield club may well step up their bid to land Shaqiri.
The Swiss playmaker has signalled his intention to leave the relegated club and there are no shortage of takers for the 26-year-old.
ESPN, The Telegraph and The Guardian all reported this week that the diminutive forward was on Jurgen Klopp’s list of summer targets.
ESPN claimed however, from a different source, that Liverpool were yet to approach Stoke with an offer.
That may well change now, with Liverpool’s plans for Fekir up in the air and Rowett will not stand in the player’s way.
“No player will leave the club that is contractually with the club unless the club feel it is a good deal and the right deal for them,” said Rowett in his first press conference.
“That is the most important thing but on the flip side to that, if player’s say they want to leave, then I want to work with players that want to be at the club.“I want to put players on the pitch next season that want to be in a different league and understand the challenges of that league.
“I want players who are committed to Stoke City.
“And if players want to leave I will try and find the best solution to make that happen if that is the case.”
Everton, Tottenham and Leicester are also known suitors, claim the Daily Star, but there may well be a sticking point with the player’s release clause.
The former Inter Milan forward was understood to have a £12m buyout clause after the Potters were relegated. However, The Times yesterday cast doubt on that and claimed the release clause was “more than the £12million that has been publicly stated”.
Whether Klopp was planning to make a move for Shaqiri in addition to Fekir is unclear, but with the move for the Lyon man in huge doubt, Shaqiri may well have moved to the top of his target list.