Xherdan Shaqiri is on the verge of quitting Liverpool in a move to Lyon with the Ligue 1 side closing in on a transfer agreement with the Reds.
Of all the traditional top six clubs this summer, Liverpool have been the quietest in the transfer market thus far. Ibrahima Konate arrived for £36m to ensure their defensive debacle of last year will not happen again. But beyond the Frenchman, Reds transfer news has mainly focussed on who will leave.
Georginio Wijnaldum left for PSG as a free agent. Furthermore, squad players Harry Wilson, Marko Grujic, Taiwo Awoniyi. Liam Millar and Kamil Grabara all left on permanent deals to generate approximately £33m.
That pot is now expected to be increased by approximately £6.8m with the departure of enigmatic Swiss star Shaqiri.
We reported on Tuesday how a move to France was generating traction after Lyon lodged an opening offer.
And while their initial bid was quickly rejected, they are now said to have increased that offer.
Indeed, as per trusted Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, Shaqiri ‘is very close to Lyon on a permanent deal’. He states they have offered €6m to Liverpool, with the Reds holding out for nearer €8m.
And that figure is expected to not pose Lyon too much hassle and it’s believed an agreement is now close.
The Swiss star made just 22 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool last season and was initially expected to move to Italy.
Shaqiri detailed his desire to experience a new challenge to Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport last month.
“I told Liverpool board I feel ready for a new challenge,” said Shaqiri. “They accepted my decision and will now consider bids to sell me. Liverpool won’t stop me this summer. I’d love to come back to Italy, and I’d like to play for Lazio.”
However, it seems certain that it is France where the 5ft 7in star will next end up. Watch out Lionel Messi and Co!
Lyon also keen on Chelsea star Bakayoko
Shaqiri looks unlikely to be the only player Lyon will bring in from the Premier League this summer.
As per Di Marzio, the Ligue 1 outfit are also plotting a raid on Chelsea for Tiemoue Bakayoko.
He states Lyon have ‘initiated contact’ with the European champions over a deal to sign the unwanted Frence midfielder.
Having spent the last three seasons on loan with Napoli, Monaco and AC Milan, he’s very much down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge.
They state Bakayoko is ‘waiting for a new adventure’ and is willing to discuss the transfer.
Di Marzio claims they have already made contact with the midfielder’s agents to see what his demands are.
And while the move is in the early stages, all parties will hope for a positive conclusion.