English Premier League, Leagues, Liverpool, Story

ESPN FC’s Steve Nicol explains why Roma’s Alisson has to be Liverpool’s No. 1 transfer target this summer.

Liverpool are leading the race for Stoke City attacker Xherdan Shaqiri, sources close to the player have told ESPN FC.

Shaqiri, 26, is set to leave Stoke this summer following their relegation from the Premier League and a number of clubs have been weighing up moves for the Switzerland winger.

Sources have told ESPN FC that Shaqiri’s brother and agent met with Liverpool officials last Friday to discuss a possible move to Anfield and that talks are also ongoing with several other clubs — though the player himself is currently away in Russia preparing for the World Cup.

Shaqiri is reported to have a release clause of £13.5 million in his contract and that makes him an attractive proposition at that price, with sources telling ESPN FC that Liverpool made their interest clear last week.

The former Bayern Munich and Inter Milan midfielder scored eight goals and provided seven assists for Stoke last season and he has previously indicated he would prefer to stay in England if he does end up leaving Stoke.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is reportedly keen to boost his options in attack next season, as he wants to ease the burden on the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, and is now chasing other targets after Lyon indicated on Saturday that captain Nabil Fekir will be staying in France after breaking off transfer negotiations with the Reds.

Peter O’Rourke is ESPN FC’s transfer news correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @SportsPeteO.

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