Having failed to crack the hierarchy of Bayern Munich's bountiful attacking resources, Xherdan Shaqiri's time at the Allianz Arena could come to its end this summer, with Liverpool hovering around the winger's potential availability.
Despite losing out to the likes of Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Thomas Mueller, Brendan Rodgers would be wise to swoop on the out-of-favour asset, who would be an extremely valuable pickup.
When you hear these names, of course you have to listen to the offer, but there is nothing concrete. I cannot say anything to this. I am feeling good in Munich but as a player you have to listen, if one of these top clubs is interested.
I hear the interest from Borussia Moenchengladbach for the first time. You have to ask Gladbach. I cannot say anything. Bundesliga is the best league for me, but I also like the Premier League and Serie A. In Serie A many teams have developed well with nice players.
The Premier League is one of the more easily translatable divisions when compared with the German top flight, and Shaqiri's fast-paced, direct style down the flank would fit in well with the tactics that Rodgers is looking to employ at Anfield.
Norwegian pundit Jan Aage Fjortoft highlights exactly how strong Pep Guardiola's bench can often be:
Still 0-0 after 25 mins in Munich. Guardiola could put on Thiago, Ribery, Lahm, Alaba, Martinez or Shaqiri Ok bench...... #skybuli— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) March 15, 2014
This season, Liverpool have soared as a result of several key players' input, most notably Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge, Jordan Henderson and Steven Gerrard, but the wide areas remain some of the less reliably stacked in the squad.
Raheem Sterling has impressed as his development continues on an upward trajectory. However, inconsistent form from the on-loan Victor Moses and Philippe Coutinho—too frequently played out of position on the wing—means that reinforcements will be needed.
Shaqiri has made eight league starts for Bayern this season, scoring five goals in the process, per Transfermarkt, showing that while not quite of the same calibre as some of his peers, he's still a very useful option for the reigning champions of Europe.
Bundesliga expert Clark Whitney points out that the contract situations of Robben and Ribery makes an exit increasingly likely for Shaqiri:
I think Shaqiri will leave Bayern this summer. FCB have committed €20m/yr wages to Ribery/Robben through 2017, when Shaq is nearing age 26— Clark Whitney (@Mr_Bundesliga) March 20, 2014
Shaqiri: Meant to replace Ribery/Robben, but Rob has has a renaissance & Bayern's willingness to pay both so well thru 2017 suggests change— Clark Whitney (@Mr_Bundesliga) March 20, 2014
Just once has the Swiss international played a full 90 minutes in the Bundesliga this term, but Squawka show that Shaqiri's chain of ammunition is a consistent one, creating 21 chances in his 14 total appearances, a sizeable amount of which have only been cameos.
With Moses set to end his temporary spell with the Reds at the end of the current campaign, Liverpool will have a space to fill out wide in the very near future.
In the pursuit of continuing the progress that's been seen this season, it's vital that the squad now be upgraded in those sections that require it most, instead of the club chasing players who, while talented, may not be of critical need for the club.
In this scenario, Bayern Munich's loss can most certainly be Liverpool's gain, and should Shaqiri's openness to a Premier League switch become even more amicable, it's a move with long-term potential that the Merseysiders would be smart to seal.