Stoke City announced the signing of Xherdan Shaqiri from Inter Milan on Tuesday afternoon, smashing their club's transfer record in the process.
The Premier League side agreed to pay the Serie A outfit £12million in order to sign the Swiss international, breaking their previous transfer record of £10m when they signed Peter Crouch from Tottenham Hotspur back in 2011.
The 23-year-old, who had a superb World Cup in Brazil with Switzerland last summer, has signed a five-year deal at the Britannia Stadium and is set to link up with former-Barcelona duo Bojan and Ibrahim Afellay.
Stoke are slowly and surely building a very strong Premier League side, and with Shaqiri the latest recruit, there is reason to be optimistic ahead of the new season.
Shaqiri was at the Britannia on Sunday, watching his new team-mates face Liverpool and, despite the result on the day, the Swiss star is delighted to join the club after refusing to join them just months earlier.
Stoke and Inter agreed on a fee earlier in the window, but the deal broke down when Shaqiri refused to move. However, he has changed his mind and now revealed his delight at the move.
“I am very happy, and incredibly excited that this transfer to Stoke City has finally happened,” he revealed on Tuesday.
“Over the past three days I have met great people at the club and witnessed the wonderful atmosphere at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday. That experience was overwhelming.
“My special thanks go to the manager, Mark Hughes, Chief Executive Tony Scholes and Mark Cartwright for their work in helping to make this deal happen over the past few months.
“I sincerely appreciate it so much, and will give my utmost to pay them and the supporters back on the pitch over the coming months and years.
“I can’t wait to meet my new teammates and make my debut for the Club. It feels great to finally be a Potter!”
Stoke chairman, Peter Coates also spoke to the club's official website and admitted he was delighted at their big-name signing and stated it proved their signal of intent going forward.
“I would hope that he is the last signing,” the Chairman smiled. “In football though you never know what is around the corner.
“I wouldn’t say it is likely, but if something was to come up that made sense then we would look at it, of course.
“We are attracting great players to the club now because we are progressing on and off the pitch and they are excited by the challenge here.”
“I’m not sure how long it has gone on for – quite a while I would suggest, but football is a messy business and signings like this can take a while to conclude.
“We are obviously very pleased that he is here though, because he’s an excellent player and one that we feel will do very well for us.
“He has been an important target and we are very pleased and I know more importantly Mark and his team are delighted to have him on board.
“I keep saying we are trying to get better and this is another good example of the progress we are trying to make.
“He’s a player we have been targeting for some time and we have had to keep plugging away and be patient and do all you can to get what you want, so it’s a brilliant to get this deal completed.”
Football fans, are you surprised to have seen Shaqiri join Stoke City? Let us know in the comments box below what you think.
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