Xherdan Shaqiri showed Bayern Munich what they could be missing next season, as the man reportedly keen on a move to Liverpool propelled Switzerland into the last 16 of the World Cup with a stunning hat-trick.
The first of Shaqiri’s three strikers against Honduras, a rasping, dipping drive from the edge of the 18-yard box which then rocketed into the far corner of the net, was certainly the pick of the bunch.
Streetwise Ladbrokes customers could have profited to the tune of 8/1 on that goal flying in, as the Swiss forward was subject of a World Cup first goalscorer price boost.
Having dispatched a hapless Honduras outfit, Shaqiri and co now have the pleasure of taking on Argentina in the second round, where the Europeans are priced up at 13/2 to spring an upset.
Whatever happens in that knockout encounter, there has been intense speculation gathering pace in recent weeks that Liverpool are the most likely club to acquire Shaqiri’s talents next season.
Figures from around the £16m to the £20m mark have been mooted, and the deal has been given more credence by the player’s agent suggesting Anfield is high on his client’s wishlist.
Shaqiri’s opener gainst Honduras
Meanwhile, German newspaper BILD has reported that there has even been a verbal agreement between the clubs on an agreed price for the player.
If this does materialise as a transfer which goes through, it feels almost certain that Brendan Rodgers would finally give up on his pursuit of Southampton’s midfield maestro Adam Lallana.
Lallana has just returned from England duty in Brazil and although he too harbours desires to move to Anfield, his club are playing hardball.
In a desperate bid to hold onto Lallana, Southampton have asked for a fee in excess of £25m.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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