KOP BOSS TARGETS BAYERN STAR AGAIN
LIVERPOOL are set to step up their pursuit of Bayern MunichstarXherdan Shaqiri in the next 48 hours.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is a big fan of the Swiss playmaker and tried to lure him to Anfield after a decent World Cup showing.
Shaqiri turned down a Merseyside move then in order to fight for his place with Bayern.
But he has failed to establish himself under Pep Guardiola and has largely been a bit-part player for most of the campaign.
The Bundesliga giants are willing to let the 23-year-old go in January and Inter Milan have already offered a £2million loan deal.
But Bayern want to sell the player outright, a situation which has seen Liverpool move ahead of the Italian club in the race to land the talented midfielder.
The Reds are now preparing an offer in the region of £11m and will meet with the player’s agent, his brother Erdin, in an attempt to thrash out a deal.
Should Liverpool be unable to lure Shaqiri to Anfield, then Rodgers plans to revive his interest in Ukraine star Yevhen Konoplyanka.
The Dnipro winger was on the brink of a switch to Liverpool 12 months ago, only for the move to collapse at the 11th hour.
The Kop club have maintained an interest, although difficulties in negotiating with the Ukrainian club last time round means there is some reluctance from the Anfield hierarchy to enter into talks.
Reds defender Martin Skrtel says his teammates are desperate to win the FA Cup to provide captain Steven Gerrard with a fitting parting gift.
Gerrard announced last week that he will end his long association with his boyhood club at the end of the season to play in the USA.
The skipper turns 35 on the same day as the FA Cup final, and after their 2-1 win over AFC Wimbledon on Monday Skrtel wants Liverpool to go all the way.
“We want Stevie to finish his career here with another trophy,” said the Slovakian.
“There is a long way to go in the competition, but we will try our best.
“Stevie showed how important he is for us. He showed his quality with two great goals and proved what a great player he still is.
“He’s been here for such a long time and when he’s not here after this season, it’s going to be different.
“It won’t be the same. It will be difficult without him.
“He’s the leader on the pitch. He’s a great player and a nice guy as well.
“We’ll miss him both on and off the pitch. It will be really difficult to replace him.”