With Liverpool looking to fund some sells, they have started to show some movement in the transfer window when it comes to departures.
After selling the likes of Kamil Grabara, Liam Millar, Marko Grujic, Taiwo Awoniyi, and Harry Wilson, the Reds are prepared to continue offloading players in the next coming days.
One of those names is rumoured to be Swiss winger Xherdan Shaqiri, who after three years being with the club it seems like his time has come to an end.
The main side that is said to be interested in the forward is Serie A club Lazio.
The Italians are looking for another option in the attacking department after securing the deal for Felipe Anderson.
We asked Jerry Mancini, journalist for The Laziali as well as GIFN about his take on the rumoured move for Shaqiri to Lazio, how the player would fit into Sarri's system as well as a few other questions on former Liverpool players at the Italian club.
Q & A w/ Jerry Mancini
What is Lazio's current transfer business situation?
"The arrival of Maurizio Sarri to Lazio has created a very active summer transfer market. Changing from a 3-5-2 to the 4-3-3 has forced Lazio to purchase players this summer. While several low-key players have departed due to being free agents, the club has been able to sign players and reinforce the squad. Among the players who have joined Lazio are Elseid Hysaj, Felipe Anderson, Kamenovic and Luka Romero. Lazio have mentioned that they don’t plan to acquire additional full backs but are looking at a possible centre back. However, it is highly unlikely as Denis Vavro may be given an opportunity to prove himself under Sarri after a disappointing spell with Inzaghi. The club is continuing to improve the wing position as they are looking to bring in two additional players. According to the Laziali, two players who will be arriving are Borussia Dortmund’s Julian Brandt and Bordeaux’s Toma Basic. However, due to the liquidity index ratio, the club needs to make a few sales in order to purchase these players. One player who most likely will be sold is Joaquin Correa, who has requested to leave the club. It remains to be seen as to what will happen, yet likely destinations for the Argentine are PSG, Tottenham, Everton or Arsenal."
Do you think the links between Lazio and Xherdan Shaqiri are true? There has even been suggestions that Lazio have made a 10 million euros bid +2 million in ad ons.
"I’m not certain if the links between Lazio and Xherdan Shaqiri were ever true as that news has been relatively quiet. The club probably showed interest in the winger yet figured that the asking price was too high for them. Club president, Claudio Lotito, is known to be very difficult to do business with as he doesn’t budge easily. The asking price was apparently €15 million while Lazio offered €10 million plus €2 million in add-ons. Liverpool has a good relationship with Lazio as they have done business in the past for the purchase of players such as Luis Alberto and Lucas Leiva. Maybe they will decide to reconvene with Liverpool yet at the moment three options that have been recently rumoured are Jose Callejon, Franck Ribery and Julian Brandt."
How would Shaqiri fit in Sarri's team? Do you think he is a good fit?
"Lazio are in need of wingers and, given that his primary position is right wing, he would be slotted in his natural role. The club likely will have Felipe Anderson at right wing to begin the season. Lazio have very few options at the current moment and Shaqiri could be used as a starter or substitute. However, the past two seasons haven’t been great for the forward who hasn’t played near 1000 minutes in either season with Liverpool. Given that he’s 29 years old and in the prime of his career, this could be a move to turn his career around and Sarri might be the right guy to help him."
Would you rather concentrate on getting another type of player on maybe another position rather than Shaqiri or do you see him as a perfect signing for Lazio?
"I’d rather have Lazio sign Jose Callejon or Julian Brant compared to Shaqiri. Callejon would be a good option and he is familiar with Sarri due to his time with Napoli. Brandt would be a player who arrives on loan with the option to buy him. While the price tag on his option is steep, if he manages to have a productive season and the team advances to the Champions League, it would be worth signing him. Shaqiri concerns me, as he’s been poor in the past few seasons. This may be a reason why Lazio haven’t agreed to sign him for €15 million. I would prefer a loan option than outright buying him, considering his bad form in recent times."
Do you reckon this transfer will happen? and if so, how well do you think Shaqiri will do in the Serie A?
"No, I don’t see the transfer happening. Until the club makes any sales, it will be hard for them to close any of their pending deals. Lotito will surely want the price to drop to near €10 million. Unless Liverpool is considering to meet half-way, I doubt this transfer will happen."
Any other Liverpool Players You May Want At Lazio?
"Divock Origi is a player I would consider. His market value has dropped after a disappointing 2020/21 campaign. During the 2019/20 season, he was outstanding and showed great potential. He scored four goals and added three assists in the English Premier League as he showed good speed and is versatile. He can play centre-forward, right wing or left wing, which would provide Lazio some depth. He’s just 26 years old and could be affordable."
How has Lucas Leiva done for Lazio since leaving Liverpool?
"Leiva is of the best central defensive midfielders in Serie A. Since arriving to Lazio, he has been outstanding and a great replacement to Lucas Biglia. Lazio fans are highly fond of him as he’s been dependable and a key piece to their midfield. He’s complimented well with Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Luis Alberto as they have been one of the hardest midfields to break down. He’s provided leadership, timely key tackles and a great presence in the backend. His most notable moment was back in May 2018 of the Coppa Italia finals versus Atalanta. He delivered an accurate corner kick into the box and Savic followed up with the game winner. Probably one of the best moments with Lazio, he’s been superb."
Do you think selling Luis Alberto this window is a possibility? Liverpool has a 30% sell on clause on him?
"Luis Alberto is not likely to leave Lazio this summer as the Spaniard mended his relationship with management. According to the Laziali, he spoke to Sporting Director, Igli Tare, on the phone after arriving at the training camp in Auronzo di Cadore, to clarify the situation after his late arrival to the pre-season retreat. During the pre-season games, he seems to be extremely happy and Sarri may be winning him over with his tactics and ideas. The constant rumours will never end in regards to Alberto but I see him being a vital part for Sarri this upcoming season."