Transfer rumor roundup: Shaqiri wanted; Fred finalizing

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Xherdan Shaqiri has confirmed he will not be at Stoke City next season following their relegation from the Premier League.

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Shaqiri, 26, was Stoke’s top goalscorer last season as they were relegated from the top-flight following a 10-year stay. It is believed he is available for $17.9 million due to a release clause in his contract.

The Swiss international is focused on a big World Cup for his country this month, but speaking to Swiss outlet Aargauer Zeitung he confirmed he will not be playing in England’s second-tier next season.

“Yes, of course. It is no secret that I will leave the club. I would love to stay in England, I think the league is perfect for me,” Shaqiri said. “It’s the best league with the best players, but I do not want to exclude anything. Everyone wants to compete with the best, that was one reason why I chose the Premier League. And that’s why I want to take the next step now.”

Where next for Shaqiri? He has been linked with a move to either West Ham or Everton, which would be a good fit for the diminutive winger who operated in a more central role for the Potters last season.

Shaqiri’s ability is clear for all to see but a combination of him flashing in and out of games and Stoke not getting him the ball enough has seen him have an up and down time of things in the Premier League.

Surely he will flourish in a team willing to give him the ball and with other attackers around him who he can bounce off.


Brazilian midfielder Fred is closing in a move to Manchester United from Shakhtar Donetsk.

Fred, 25, was reportedly at United’s training ground on Monday for a medical after playing for Brazil in their 2-0 friendly win against Croatia at Anfield on Sunday.

After that game he spoke to the media and confirmed that a move to United was in the works but he that he was focused on heading to the 2018 World Cup with the Selecao.

The central midfielder will reportedly cost $69 million and Jose Mourinho sees him as a perfect foil to Nemanja Matic in the heart of United’s team. Fred can make surging runs from deep positions but is also able to lock down midfield and doesn’t shirk from his defensive responsibilities.

Fred has played 156 times for Shakhtar since joining them from Brazilian side Internacional in 2013, and has appeared in the UEFA Champions League regularly. He was previously linked with a move to Man City but Pep Guardiola cooled his interested in the man who has eight caps for Brazil.

Mourinho loves a midfield terrier and it appears likely that Fred is about to be a red…