Stoke stunned Premier League fans worldwide when it was revealed that they had agreed a club-record £12m fee to sign Inter Milan midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri, and it's even taken Peter Crouch by surprise.
Shaqiri only joined Inter in January this year after leaving Bayern Munich, having found first-team opportunities at the Allianz Arena difficult to come by due to the presence of Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Mario Götze. Shaqiri was linked with a move to both Arsenal and Liverpool, and at 23 years of age, should have his best years ahead of him.
But Inter are believed to have accepted an ambitious offer from Stoke that would break their current transfer record – coincidentally the £10m the Potters paid for Peter Crouch in 2011.
Crouch appeared to give the game away when he took to Twitter to try and express his excitement at the club’s move for the Switzerland international, although in his haste the former England striker managed to spell his potential new team-mate’s name wrong.
Shaquiri ; Peter Crouch (@petercrouch) July 1, 2015
Yeah I spelt it wrong but think the signing is right ; Peter Crouch (@petercrouch) July 1, 2015
Stoke still face a challenge to talk the Swiss into joining the club with personal terms yet to be agreed, but manager Mark Hughes can look to luring former Barcelona product Bojan to the Britannia last season as inspiration for the move that would be regarded as a coup for the club.
Shaqiri has scored 17 goals in his 46 matches for his country, but after netting just three times in his 20 appearances for the Serie A club since his January arrival, it seems Inter officials are already happy to let him leave the club for good.
Stoke have already moved this season to sign Spanish striker Joselu from Hannover and Jakob Haugaard from FC Midtjylland, and the move for Shaqiri shows the club are intent on building on last season’s impressive ninth-place finish.
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