Xherdan Shaqiri was not expecting to end up battling for Premier League safety when he joined Stoke City in 2015, but the Swiss winger, despite his best efforts saw the Potters relegated to the Championship at the end of the last campaign. The former Bayern Munich forward contributed eight goals to their cause, but once their demotion to the second tier of English football was confirmed, it became clear that Stoke might not be able to hold on to him for long. Enter Manchester United.
With Switzerland’s World Cup campaign ended by Sweden in the last 16 on Tuesday, Shaqiri is now able to focus on where his future lies, and a report in The Sun suggests that he might be a target for Jose Mourinho. The suggestion that the player would be available for as little as £12m seems a little hard to believe, given that Stoke would surely want to recoup more cash for the sale of such an important player, but if that’s the case, then United would surely be able to tempt him to Old Trafford.
“I want to stay in the Premier League, and you will find out my new club soon,” said Shaqiri prior to Switzerland’s World Cup exit. Liverpool have also been linked with a move for the player, so it could come down to which North Western side Shaqiri fancies more.
From United’s perspective, given the uncertainty that still surrounds Anthony Martial’s future at the club, and a pursuit of Chelsea’s Willian that looks to have gone awry, Shaqiri would represent an affordable addition to the team. Money has certainly been saved by the re-signing of Marouane Fellaini after the Belgian agreed a new two-year deal last week, and the purchase of Shaqiri would certainly give United more financial freedom to pursue other targets whilst strengthening their squad with another quality addition to their attack, even if he doesn’t start every game.