Liverpool and Manchester United will have to forget about any January swoop for Bayern Munich’s Xherdan Shaqiri after his latest comments, but there may have been some small encouragement with regards a later swoop by either of the Premier League pair.
Shaqiri has revealed that the Bundesliga champions have told him to forget about any move imminently and they made it clear he would not be sold any time soon, despite being only a bit-part player under Pep Guardiola.
Glimpse of hope
However, the good news for Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal and his counterpart at Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers, both of whom are credited with an interest in the Daily Express report running the quotes, is that he does not rule out a future move.
"I've still got a contract until 2016 and the club have already told me I won't be going anywhere so I've just got to accept that," he said.
"For as long as I am here, I will give everything I've got. I try to do my best in training and when the coach rewards me with appearances then that's even better”
There is very little finality about his words, which came after Bayern thrashed Hannover 4-0 in the Bundesliga on Saturday to maintain their four-point lead at the top of the league, and a rare start here and there is unlikely to be enough for a young player so talented.
Old Trafford project still unfinished
Manchester United’s interest in Shaqiri would not be a huge surprise as he would fill some holes in the team currently. Additions of Angel di Maria and Ander Herrera have added some extra creativity, but only the £60million Argentine has the pace of the current attack to really burst beyond the strikers effectively.
Shaqiri would provide just that kind of pace, while he also has sensational technical ability, which adds great dribbling and incisive passing to a threat in behind defences.
Liverpool have plenty of such pace in the likes of Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge, though the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona this summer is taking its toll early on in the new Premier League season, failing to look nearly as dangerous as they did last term in finishing second.
Mario Balotelli was purchased in a £16million deal from AC Milan in the summer to help ease the departure of Suarez. However, the former Manchester City star is struggling to integrate into his new team and the injury to Daniel Sturridge has raised the pressure on him to deliver.
Shaqiri would provide that extra injection of pace to help get runners around the Italian in the centre-forward position. While adding to the creativity of an attacking unit that has struggled to click in their opening ten games of the season, four of which have been defeats.