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Shaqiri "ready for new challenge", Van Dijk returns for Liverpool


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Xherdan Shaqiri has informed Liverpool that he wants to leave, admit interest from Italy. 

The 29-year old Switzerland playmaker says he's "ready for a new challenge" having become a bit-part player under Jurgen Klopp.

Shaqiri's only managed 33 appearances in all competitions over the past two seasons, which he feely admits is not enough to sate his needs.

"The important thing at this moment in my career is to be able to play regularly," Shaqiri told the Corriere dello Sport, "

"That hasn’t always been the case in the last three seasons.

“This is why I told Liverpool that I feel ready for a new challenge. They accepted my wish and will seriously consider the offers that will come.

"They will not stop me.”

Liverpool have been trimming the fat this summer, with the intention of making further additions to Ibrahima Konaté with the money that they recoup.

Serie A giants Napoli and Lazio are both said to be interested in Shaqiri, who could command a fee of €17.5million.

"Igli Tare [manager] has been doing an excellent job at Lazio for years. If it’s true that he has great respect for me, then I’m honoured.

“I have been following Lazio for a long time, they are a top team. In general, due to my characteristics, I like to play more attacking football and [Maurizio] Sarri practices it. It would be intriguing.”

Liverpool have already recouped €12million this summer from Marko Grujic's permanent move to Porto. Taiwo Awoniyi's sale to Union Berlin has raised €7.5million, with a further €14million coming from dispatching Harry Wilson to Fulham.

Van Dijk & Gomez are back

Meanwhile, Klopp is set to welcome both Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez back to action this week.

Both have been long-term absentees through injury, with their manager confirming they could play some part in Thursday's friendly with Hertha Berlin in Innsbruck.

"I hope, I am not sure, that there is the opportunity that Virgil could play a few minutes.

“He looks really good in training and maybe we can bring [him in], but I need to have some final conversations. He looks ready and we will see.”

Klopp added, "If you see the games now as part of their rehab training, that makes sense.

“Joey is very close. There is no race between the two of them; they had different injuries and stuff like this, but [he is] very close.

“If Virgil can play now 20 then probably Joey can in the game after. We will see. In training they both look really good.

“I think from time to time there are some pictures of them from training sessions and everyone can see how good it looks, but there is no rush for us. It is not about they now need five pre-season games to be ready for the start or whatever.

“It is a long season and we prepare them after these very, very serious injuries for the rest of their careers and not for the first game of the season.

“Losing a little bit of patience for them to return as a supporter or as a coach even is not bad, it just means they were pretty good and we want them to be back in the team.”

Liverpool sign Tyrone native Conor Bradley on ‘long-term’ contract


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Ibrahima Konaté Joe Gomez Jurgen Klopp Lazio Liverpool Napoli Virgil Van Dijk Xherdan Shaqiri

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