Liverpool are claimed to have rejected a loan bid for Xherdan Shaqiri, with AS Roma making an approach for the Switzerland international this week.
Shaqiri made his return from injury last week and came off the substitutes’ bench to play the final minute in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Tottenham.
It was his 10th appearance of the campaign, as along with a series of injuries the 28-year-old has been left to settle for a squad role, compounded by the arrival of Takumi Minamino.
There has been speculation over Shaqiri’s future since the end of last season, with Monaco and clubs in the Chinese Super League touted with an interest.
But Jurgen Klopp‘s stance has remained that the No. 23 is an important part of his squad, and this has seen the club turn down an offer from Roma.
That is according to the reliable Fabrizio Romano, who reports that Liverpool “refused to loan him out,” with there being “no chance” he heads out on a temporary move this January.
Roma had hoped to sign Shaqiri as cover for Nicolo Zaniolo, who suffered a season-ending ACL and meniscus injuries in their 2-1 defeat to Juventus on Sunday.
But given the Swiss made an immediate return to action—albeit as a substitute—at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, it is clear allowing him to leave would weaken Klopp’s squad.
Shaqiri has only made three starts so far this season, though that figure would have been doubled were he fit for the League Cup clashes with MK Dons and Arsenal, along with the FA Cup third-round tie against Everton.
Minamino (70)—who has been available for two games—is the only senior outfield player to clock fewer minutes for the Reds so far than Shaqiri (256).
It is a difficult position for the winger to deal with, and with The Athletic‘s James Pearce indicating that Liverpool will be in the market for another attacker in the summer transfer window, he could well move on at the end of 2019/20.
But sending him on loan in January would be a major oversight, with his role in the 4-0 comeback win over Barcelona in last season’s Champions League indicative of his importance.
Shaqiri is likely to start in the FA Cup fourth round clash against either Shrewsbury or Bristol City on January 26.