Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has claimed that he is willing to give up his Switzerland captaincy if it means Liverpool star Xherdan Shaqiri will return to the squad.
Xhaka's comments come amid reports that Shaqiri opted to not join up with his national squad because he was not elected temporary captain.
Switzerland's official captain is former Arsenal full back Stephan Lichtsteiner. However, the 35-year-old was not selected for a call up this time around. As a result, Swiss coach Vladimir Petkovic chose Xhaka as the man to assume the role.
Shaqiri chose to stay at Melwood rather than join up with his national side, despite having only featured once in the league this season for the Reds.
After his international teammates drew 1-1 with Republic of Ireland on Thursday, Xhaka told reporters, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo: “If the captain’s band really is the problem, then we can sit together at one table. We are grown up enough to talk about it.
“If he really has a problem about that, then he may like the captain’s armband. That’s no problem for me. It does not matter to me if I have it. I want to give everything to the team, whether that’s with the band or without.”
The Arsenal man's comments leave the door open to negotiations between the pair, but it remains to be seen whether the captaincy is the true reason behind Shaqiri's decision to opt out of the squad.
There have also been rumours that the Anfield man is displeased with the national coach, which may have added to his decision.
It is unclear what the exact reason is behind Shaqiri's surprise decision, but Xhaka has now publicly offered the chance to the 27-year-old to make his return to the squad and potentially even claim the temporary captaincy.