Stoke City would like their big summer to continue, as the Premier League club’s deal for Inter Milan winger Xherdan Shaqiri is close to completion.
He’s had a medical and agreed to terms, according to The Stoke Sentinel, but it’s not just about the player, Stoke and Inter.
Bayern Munich has a say in the move, as their sale to the Serie A side included some ifs and buts. And both Everton and Newcastle United are prepared to pounce on the 23-year-old.
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The Potters were ready to splash $18 million on Shaqiri earlier this summer, but backed out when Shaqiri delayed in making a decision to come to the Britannia Stadium.
Manager Mark Hughes has said he’s “hopeful” Shaqiri will sign. He was seen at the Britannia during Stoke’s opening day loss to Liverpool on Saturday:
But the club is unable to announce his signing – believed to be in the region of £12m – because Everton and Newcastle have not backed off from the deal themselves.
The deal is still in limbo for now because Inter Milan are, in effect, not the only selling club.
Bayern Munich, who let Shaqiri join Inter in January with strings attached, also have a vested interest in his sale and could yet influence the final outcome.
The Potters are seemingly in the driver’s seat, however, and we’ll see how this story plays out.
Shaqiri has 46 caps for Switzerland, and has scored nine goals in his last 17. But his club form suffered at Inter Milan, where he scored just thrice in 20 matches after leaving Bayern for I Nerazzurri in January.
Stoke has added Joselu, Marco van Ginkel, Shay Given, Glen Johnson, Jakob Haugaard, Philipp Wollscheid and Ibrahim Afellay this offseason as Hughes targets European qualification.