Liverpool have suffered a setback in their pursuit of Bayern Munich's Xherdan Shaqiri, as reports suggest Roma have now opened talks with the Bundesliga champions.
Enrico Passarella from GianlucaDiMarzio.com reports that the Serie A team have entered the race for Shaqiri with Bayern putting a €20 million price tag on the Swiss international's head.
Chisanga Malata of the Daily Star also covers the story of Roma's planned "hijack" of Liverpool's move for the attacker, saying it is unknown whether the Merseyside club's original bid of £15 million had been accepted by the Bavarian giants.
Shaqiri himself has admitted his future lies away from Bayern. Sky Sports reported that the player said recently to 20 Minuten:
It's clear that I cannot continue like this. If nothing changes, I will have to make some changes myself.
I want to play in the important games as well and not just in the Bundesliga. I don't want to go through another year like this.
I only want to play for a major club. The Champions League is important to me. We will see what happens.
England would be an option. If I were to leave Bayern, it will be for a foreign club. But it will have to be a club challenging for the title.
Shaqiri had a strong World Cup after scoring a hat-trick for his country in the group stages. His immediate form is sure to attract additional suitors, and Liverpool and Roma surely will not be the only clubs after his services.
Journalist Fabrizio Romano also tweeted his opinion about Liverpool possibly missing out on Shaqiri, saying the Reds should sign Lazer Markovic instead:
What a player, Lazar Markovic. He would be perfect for Liverpool, more than Shaqiri. Let's see if Benfica will accept €25M bid #LFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 6, 2014
One player who could be on his way out of Anfield, perhaps to fund new arrivals, is Lucas Leiva.
Pearce writes that the player has been linked with a move to Napoli and that Leiva has removed any mention of Liverpool from his Twitter account.
Should Liverpool retain Lucas Leiva?
Shaqiri's signature has become more and more vital to the Reds, which are expected to lose talisman Luis Suarez. Shaqiri has the flair that was so evident in Liverpool's title bid last season, and if Suarez leaves, they will be short of this element.
Brendan Rodgers likes to play an attacking game, and Shaqiri fits the profile of a Liverpool player nicely. If they can secure his services, it will give the Anfield club a good platform to build on from last year's campaign.