Newcastle United are reportedly interested in signing Liverpool midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri this summer and while The Reds may be willing to let the Swiss ace go, it is much more likely they will sanction a sale if a replacement is signed, first.
The Daily Mail claimed last month that The Toon’s potential new owners could look to sign 28-year-old star Shaqiri in the coming months, after the former Bayern Munich star managed just 10 appearances throughout 2019-20.
Shaqiri is loved by Liverpool fans for his performance in the Champions League semi-final comeback against Barcelona last season. But the pocket-sized attacker has simply not replicated that form this term. The Echo claim Liverpool want £25million.
Newcastle are willing to lure him to Tyneside and the report states versatile Shaqiri is keen on a move, who can play out wide, in the 10 role or even as a box-to-box midfielder. However, Liverpool would surely want a replacement first.
That makes Dejan Lovren crucial to a move. Italian outlet Il Sussidiario have claimed that Liverpool have been offered the chance to sign Roma wonderkid Nicolo Zaniolo – the perfect replacement for Shaqiri.
Indeed, 20-year-old Zaniolo is able to score goals, create goals and play out wide, in midfield or as a 10. He is very similar to Shaqiri, if not slightly better in the air and eight years the Swiss star’s junior.
However, the report states Liverpool can only sign Zaniolo if they agree a fee and include Lovren in a deal. The Croatian defender has a contract until the summer of 2021, meaning he could leave anyway this summer.
Zaniolo would be a stunning replacement for Shaqiri and if the Italian is signed, Liverpool would surely be much more willing to sanction Shaqiri’s exit – handing Newcastle a boost in their pursuit of the Swiss ace.
Lovren agreeing to join Roma, then, is crucial to Newcastle signing Shaqiri.