FC Schalke 04 boss Roberto Di Matteo has expressed his interest in Bayern Munich’s rejected wingman, Xherdan Shaqiri.
According to German media source, Blic, the former Chelsea boss is keen to bring the Switzerland international to the Veltins Arena, possibly signalling that a move for starlet Julian Draxler is on the table for interested suitors.
Shaqiri has received just 288 minutes in the Bundesliga this season under Pep Guardiola which is just over three full games. He has spoken out regarding his position at the club and he is keen to talk with them in January.
“I want more match practice, which is known,” Shaqiri began.
“We sat together in the summer, and the message was clear: I had to stay. I've accepted.
“In the winter we will get together again and see. But the club has the final say.”
The ex-Basel playmaker has found it hard since arriving at the club in 2012 to push his rivalled counterparts out of the team and has spent most of his time twiddling his thumbs on the bench.
Frank Ribery and Arjen Robben have been inhibited with knocks since the start of the season following injuries from before and during the World Cup but Shaqiri has failed to secure a place in the side during the absence.
Di Matteo is keen to bolster his new Schalke side in January after the club made a limp start to the new season and crashed out of the DFB Pokal to third tier side, SG Dynamo Dresden. But Schalke join a long line of interested parties keen to secure the Swiss winger’s signature.
Liverpool has been the name that has been circulated through the rumour mill over the last few months despite the large haul they made over the summer.
La Liga champions, Atletico Madrid are also one of the favourites and Diego Simeone could step up his interest in January if his side continue to lose ground to title rivals Barcelona. Juventus, Sevilla, Roma, Spartak Moscow and fellow Bundesliga side, Borussia Monchengladbach are also interested in the 23 year-old.
If Di Matteo was to negotiate a deal with Bayern then the club may open up talks with clubs who are interested in signing Draxler. Arsenal are keen to bring both he and fellow striker Jan-Klaas Huntelaar to the Emirates Stadium as they look to build upon a strengthened squad.
It all depends whether Arsene Wenger is prepared to overlook the player’s £37 million release clause to bring him to the Premier League. The 20 year-old did reject the Gunners in January and then went on to sign a new five-year deal in May before then announcing in June he wanted to spend one more year with the Royal Blues.
Although the midfielder revealed he is a fan of Di Matteo’s style, he could be swayed to a move to the Premier League if Shaqiri comes into challenge for his place.