Liverpool are reportedly back in the Xherdan Shaqiri sweepstakes, but while the Bayern Munich youngster would make for a great addition to an already talented squad, he's not the player the Reds need right now.
According to the Daily Express' Anthony Chapman, Brendan Rodgers is preparing an offer for the Swiss international despite missing out on him earlier in the transfer window and landing several attacking targets since then.
The report likely stems from Shaqiri's comments following Bayern's Bundesliga opener against Wolfsburg, a match he was forced to start on the bench. As reported by Goal's Vaishali Bhardwaj, he told Blick he was none too happy with the fact he wasn't in the starting XI:
The coach has decided it, so you have to accept it. I have to deal with it and try to impose myself [on the team]. Clearly you're disappointed if you are not in the starting line-up. [...]We must not talk about transfers, it has been talked about enough. I only answer questions regarding the game.
The Bavarians were adamant the winger was not available for transfer throughout the summer, but the latest reports indicate they may be changing their minds. AS (h/t to Inside Spanish Football's Tom Conn) claims Spanish champions Atletico Madrid are ready to move for the 22-year-old.
As shared by Italian Football Daily's Marco Messina, La Stampa believes Shaqiri declined to go to Madrid because he prefers a move to Italian champions Juventus:
Shaqiri said "no" to Atletico because he prefers Juventus, Bayern are thinking about letting him go on loan. [La Stampa]— Marco Messina (@Marcocalcio22) August 27, 2014
The Italians appear to have the inside track, but that doesn't rule out the Reds. Moving for a player they have reportedly been eyeing for so long makes perfect sense, but at this stage of the transfer window, other options should take priority.
The arrival of Lazar Markovic has created a logjam in the wide areas, one that will only grow once Adam Lallana returns to full health. While Shaqiri is a more accomplished player than either of those names, Markovic's early showings for Liverpool have been very impressive.
His emergence coupled with the arrival of Mario Balotelli has given the Reds all the offensive firepower they need. More depth is never a bad thing, but Rodgers is no longer looking for starters to fill a clear hole in the attacking areas.
Even if Liverpool manage to complete a loan move for Shaqiri, one could argue whether it would be a good idea. Raheem Sterling has established himself as a sure-fire starter, and if Markovic continues on this path, he too will soon demand consistent minutes.
Adding the mercurial Shaqiri would make the team better in 2014-15, but at the cost of slowing down the development of the likes of Markovic and Philippe Coutinho. For a young team that is built to compete now and dominate in the future, those competitive minutes are extremely valuable.
Bayern Munich know this, too. Juventus are making the switch from a 3-5-2 to a 4-3-3—they need quality wingers. Shaqiri would be guaranteed to play every conceivable minute, so it's easy to see why the Bianconeri are currently favourites to land the Swiss youngster.
The Reds have seemingly addressed all of their needs in the transfer market, but they could still use bodies to help anchor the areas in front of the defence. With just days left in the transfer window, this is where their focus should lie.
That doesn't mean they shouldn't enquire about Shaqiri—but it's important to note the forward isn't a priority, by any means. Liverpool don't need Shaqiri, and his joining the club isn't likely, either.