Shaqiri saga continues

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Xherdan Shaqiri's proposed exit from FC Basel has taken another twist with the Swiss champions' sporting director George Heitz claiming that both Manchester United and Bayern Munich could intercept the playmaker's proposed move to Galatasaray.

After submitting a bid, reportedly in the region of €10 million, the Turkish giants have begun talks with the 20-year-old.

Galatasaray boss Fatih Terim, confirmed the club were negotiating a deal with Shaqiri after tracking the Basel man throughout last summer.

"Of course I want Shaqiri," Terim said. "We have been interested since July, but this time we're serious and are currently negotiating with him."

President Unal Aysal has also confirmed talks are ongoing between the two parties, with a deal seemingly close to being agreed.

Ever since Shaqiri opened his international account with a stunning goal against England in September 2010, rumours have circulated surrounding a possible move to the Premier League.

Newspaper reports suggested both Liverpool and Manchester United were leading the chase for the player, who turned out a identically impressive performance in the return game against England at Wembley last summer, to nick a draw against Fabio Capello's lacklustre side.

By the time the last transfer window had come around, interest in Shaqiri had spread as far as Barcelona and Bayern Munich, as valuations began to swell.

But it's Galatasaray, by their own right the biggest club in Turkey, but who haven't qualified for the group stage of the Champions League since 2006, who have made the first move for the Swiss Footballer of Year.

However, while Galatasaray continue talks, director Heitz has revealed there could be a late bid from the likes of United or Bayern, two of those whose interest had been previously noted.

"I have some astonishing offers," he said. "Other than Galatasaray, Bayern Munich and Manchester United are also interested.

"Transfers are an issue that is always full of surprises and you never know what will happen in the end. Of course you never know what might happen, I am asked about three or four of our players.

"Clubs from Germany, Britain and Eastern Europe are asking and we have had offers," he added. But we are in the next round of the Champions League and that is our main aim at the moment."

While Sir Alex Ferguson has made it clear he's unlikely to spend in the transfer window, the Scot has been known to bolt when a long-term target appears on the verge of slipping from his grasp.

The acquisition of Wayne Rooney for example came 12 months before United had originally planned to launch a bid, as the club hijacked Newcastle United's pursuit of the player.

Shaqiri marked almost a year since his first international goal with a hat-trick against Bulgaria, while two assists in Basel's final Champions League match against United helped Ottmar Hitzfeld's side qualify for the knock-out stages of Europe's premier club competition, at the expense of the English champions.

Having already dealt United a blow earlier in the campaign, could he about to disappoint them yet again by moving to Turkey? His appreciation of Cim bom suggests as much.

"I have always admired Galatasaray," he said. "They are a top club and Fatih Terim is a great coach.

"If such an offer is there you have to look and even though I really do not want to go to Turkey I cannot exclude anything."

After United watched Shaqiri ruin their Champions League dream in Switzerland in December, that final comment may be the only hope they have to cling to for the remainder of the transfer window.

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