Xherdan Shaqiri has revealed that he is ready to leave Liverpool and has hinted that he would like to play with Maurizio Sarri at Lazio, praising the Italian manager’s attacking style.
The Swiss international joined the Reds in 2018 but remained on the sidelines of the first team throughout his time at Anfield.
And after enjoying the success of Euro 2020, in which he became Switzerland’s all-time top scorer in major tournaments, Shaqiri hinted that his time under Jurgen Klopp could be drawing to a close.
“Fortunately, football has helped me realize many of my dreams,” Shaqiri told Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport. “I was lucky enough to play with great teams and to win many titles.
“Who knows, maybe I could also achieve something with the Swiss national team. My contract [with] Liverpool expires in 2022, in 2018 I signed a four-year contract.
“The important thing at this point in my career is to be able to play regularly, but 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 won’t stop me. “
Opportunities have been limited for Shaqiri at Liverpool as he only made 45 top flight appearances over a three-year spell, during which time he scored seven goals for the 2019-20 Premier League champions.
But the 29-year-old, whose 10 chances created at Euro 2020 were three more than Ricardo Rodriguez for the Swiss, proved his qualities by being one of Vladimir Petkovic’s best performers at the tournament.
– UEFA EURO 2020 (@ EURO2020) July 2, 2021
While Shaqiri explained that there had not yet been direct contact from the clubs, he made clear his desire to continue playing regularly and praised the development of Italian football.
“I am only 29, I have played in some of the best leagues in Europe and I would like to continue to be part of them,” said Shaqiri. “I am not yet thinking about the end of my career, it is a future that I imagine far away. We’ll see what fate has in store for me.
“I think it’s not just my opinion that football in Italy has developed substantially in recent years. To prove it there is the victory in the European Championship, a deserved result.
“Just take a look at how many Premier League players have passed to Serie A”.
The former Bayern Munich winger, directly involved in 51 goals in 96 international appearances, also has limited experience in Serie A, as he spent six months with reigning champions Inter in 2015.
Asked if a transfer to Italy and, more specifically, to Lazio was an option, Shaqiri spoke enthusiastically about Sarri’s qualities and complimented sporting director Igli Tare.
“Igli Tare has been doing a great job at Lazio for years,” commented Shaqiri. “If it is true that he has great respect for me, I am honored.
“I’ve been following Lazio for a long time, it’s a great team. In general, due to my characteristics, I like to play more offensive football and Sarri practices it. It would be intriguing. “