Stephan El Shaarawy Reportedly Free to Leave Milan Amid Liverpool Transfer Talk

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistNovember 7, 2013

TURIN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 08:  Stephan El Shaarawy of Italy walks through the mixed zone after Italy training session at Stadio Olimpico on September 8, 2013 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

AC Milan will listen to offers for forward Stephan El Shaarawy this winter, a player whom many have regarded as being "off limits" up until now.

That's according to a report by Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport (h/t Inside Futbol), which says a "generous offer" would now be enough to prise the starlet away from his San Siro setting.

The 21-year-old is yet to play a full game of football this season and has been absent since early September with a toe injury.

FLORENCE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 02:  Stephan El Shaarawy of Italy during a training session at Coverciano on September 2, 2013 in Florence, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

The news comes  after the Daily Star's Jack Wilson claimed Liverpool were one of the clubs showing a great deal of interest in bringing El Shaarawy's talents to the Premier League.

In Philippe Coutinho, the Reds have already jump-started the performances of one former Serie A resident and would presumably aim to get even more out of El Shaarawy, widely regarded as one of Europe's most promising talents.    

The Pharaoh can play either on the wing or as a more centralised forward, but has taken up residence almost exclusively out wide since last winter, the arrival of Mario Balotelli increasing the need for supply from the flanks.

At Anfield, the Genoa academy product would look to fit into the system Brendan Rodgers has engineered of late, based largely around the width of his midfield, not dissimilar to the 3-5-2 often utilised by Antonio Conte's Juventus.

El Shaarawy's bond at Milan has been built up over the last two years and it was only in July that the club released a stern statement that the player would not be leaving the club, per Sky Sports.

If reports are to be believed, that stance would appear to have loosened substantially in the months since, meaning that El Shaarawy is no longer to be considered untouchable.

Liverpool's big-money transfer schemes have come under some fire in recent years for not always going to plan, and any fee paid for El Shaarawy has the potential to dwarf even the £35 million fee paid for Andy Carroll in 2011.