Shaqiri heads for Reds in £13m deal

The Chronicle - - Nufc -

LVERPOOL have com­pleted the sign­ing of Switzer­land in­ter­na­tional Xher­dan Shaqiri from Stoke.

The winger, cur­rently on hol­i­day af­ter ap­pear­ing at the World Cup, has agreed a “long-term” con­tract at An­field.

It is un­der­stood the agree­ment is a five-year deal, with Jur­gen Klopp’s Reds pay­ing £13mil­lion to the Pot­ters fol­low­ing their Pre­mier League rel­e­ga­tion.

“I’m very happy to be here. It’s a huge club with big his­tory, big play­ers and a fan­tas­tic coach. So I’m re­ally glad and happy to be here,” Shaqiri told liv­er­poolfc.com.

“As a player you al­ways want to be on the big­gest stage in foot­ball. A few years ago I wanted to come too but it didn’t hap­pen. I’m re­ally happy that now I’m fi­nally here.

“I want to im­prove my­self too, I want to be with the best and I want to win ti­tles. That’s what I’m here for.”

Shaqiri be­comes the Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal­ists’ third sum­mer sign­ing fol­low­ing the big-money ar­rivals of mid­field­ers Naby Keita and Fabinho.

He will pro­vide com­pe­ti­tion for the es­tab­lished front three of Mo­hamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sa­dio Mane.

Man­ager Klopp be­lieves Liver­pool are the “per­fect” club for his new sign­ing. “I think the English phrase to ex­plain the de­ci­sion to sign Xher­dan is a ‘no-brainer’. When some­one like him be­comes avail­able in this way you have to re­act if you are smart – and we have,” said the Ger­man.

“He has speed and abil­ity, has the right amount of ar­ro­gance on the foot­ball pitch, real brav­ery to want the ball and in­flu­ence things. To play for us these are manda­tory re­quire­ments.

“We are the per­fect move for him in this mo­ment as well I think, be­cause he needs to push him­self and chal­lenge him­self and our en­vi­ron­ment en­cour­ages that.

“I know him well from his time in Switzer­land and es­pe­cially Ger­many - I have been a long-time ad­mirer. But the added bonus now is that he knows the Pre­mier League and what it takes to per­form in this uniquely in­tense en­vi­ron­ment.”

Shaqiri, who has scored 21 goals in 74 games for his coun­try, ar­rived in English foot­ball in the sum­mer of 2015, join­ing Stoke from In­ter Mi­lan for a re­ported £12mil­lion.

The 26-year-old scored 15 goals in 92 ap­pear­ances for the Pot­ters, but was un­able to help them re­tain their top-flight sta­tus last sea­son.

He be­gan his ca­reer with Swiss club Basel and has also played for Bay­ern Mu­nich.

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