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Liverpool transfer news: Reds to sign Nabil Fekir with Xherdan Shaqiri as summer transfer plans kick on

Lyon midfielder Fekir has indicated that his future lies at Anfield and with Shaqiri available for just £12m, Liverpool are primed to seal at least one new signing in the next 24 hours

Simon Hughes
Friday 08 June 2018 07:14 BST
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Liverpool’s summer transfer programme has accelerated with the probability of at least one target being secured inside the next 24 hours increasing dramatically.

While the club’s chances of signing Nabil Fekir ahead of the World Cup became much greater when Lyon’s president accepted that the player only wishes to move to Anfield, progress was made on a deal for Stoke City’s Xherdan Shaqiri.

Jürgen Klopp has identified the need for two new creative additions capable of functioning in a number of attacking positions.

Shaqiri’s £12m release clause at Stoke City marks the 26-year-old as low-risk and a bargain, making him more attainable.

Though Fekir is expected to cost a considerably bigger fee in a process with more complications, the midfielder has made it clear to all parties involved – with the help of Jean-Pierre Bernès, the highly influential agent from Marseille – that he does not see his future anywhere other than Merseyside.

The Lyon president is the legendary Jean-Michel Aulas and across Europe, he holds the same sort of status as Daniel Levy, the chairman of Tottenham Hotspur – someone determined and experienced enough to command prime fees for whomever he sells.

Aulas, though, prides himself on the success of Lyon’s youth academy and he believes Fekir’s successor is already in place. Nineteen-year-old Houssem Aouar has made impressive strides in his development over the last 12 months.

Lyon prefer to sell Fekir before the World Cup in case he doesn’t feature for France (AFP)

Crucially, Fekir did not feature last weekend when France defeated Italy 3-1 in Nice and with manager Didier Deschamps – another of Bernès’s clients – preferring a midfield trio comprising of Corentin Tolisso, Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté, Aulas has realised a pre-World Cup agreement might be the most profitable way of moving forward because ultimately at this stage Liverpool will have to calculate the potential of summer performance into their offer.

Shaqiri is confident of securing a move away from relegated Stoke City (Getty) (Getty Images)

While France host United States in Lyon on Saturday, Switzerland take on Japan in Lugano on Friday, leaving Thursday as the last realistic day to complete deals before both nations head to Russia before their opening fixtures against Australia and Brazil respectively.

Both Deschamps and his counterpart in charge of Switzerland, Vladimir Petković, have already made it clear to players subjected to transfer speculation that selection will be influenced by focus on the tournament.

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