Xherdan Shaqiri close to Stoke City move, says Mark Hughes

The Swiss winger was at the Britannia Stadium

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The Independent Football

Mark Hughes said he was hopeful of signing the Internazionale winger Xherdan Shaqiri who has already rejected a move to Stoke City this summer.

The 23-year-old’s presence at the Britannia was confirmation, Hughes said, the Swiss international was serious about changing his mind over a move to Stoke. Previously his club had accepted a £12m offer for the former Bayern Munich man but Shaqiri had been unwilling to go through with the deal.

Shaqiri saw Stoke lose to a Philippe Coutinho goal in the 86th minute and Hughes confirmed it was a permanent move that the club had in mind. “We are hopeful,” Hughes said. “We have had a pre-season of chasing really quality targets. We are hopeful we can do something but until we see players standing in front of the training ground with the shirt in their arms, we will have to see.”

On the question of whether he was taking the offer seriously, Hughes said: “By the fact he is here, he has showed that. But these things are never easy.”

 

The Stoke manager questioned why his team were not given a penalty in the first half for what he regarded as a handball from Nathaniel Clyne. He also said he did not understand why Dejan Lovren was booked but not sent off for an elbow on Mame Diouf. He said: “I had some sort of explanation from [fourth official] Jon Moss which wasn’t something I had heard before and I finished that conversation with a quizzical look on my face. The referee has thought it was a yellow card for an elbow. If that is the case, he was fortunate not to get a red.”

Brendan Rodgers said the result “put to bed” the memories of the 6-1 defeat for Liverpool at the Britannia Stadium on the last day of last season. “For me it was about ensuring the personality came out,” he said. “It was embarrassing but I think that puts it to bed. You see a team with the will.”

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