Granit Xhaka’s name is one that drags up bad memories for Manchester United fans, bursting onto the radar of Europe’s top clubs at the Red Devils’ expense in December 2011.
The Swiss midfielder turned in an impressive display for Basel to dump the Old Trafford giants out of the Champions League in the group stage, and has had eyes on him ever since.
United were then tipped to make a move for him in the summer of 2012, but Germans Borussia Monchengladbach would instead snap him up for £7million as a 19-year-old.
Barcelona, Chelsea and Arsenal have all been linked with Xhaka since, while Liverpool emerged as suitors over the course of last season.
The Reds need reinforcements in midfield to battle on four fronts next term, and could certainly do worse than a player dubbed ‘young Schweinsteiger’ by his international boss.
And Gladbach director Max Eberl admitted on Thursday that while his current employers hope to keep him, it is possible the 21-year-old could be sold in the coming months.
But Liverpool are not alone in their reported interest in Xhaka, as Inter have cropped up of late as competition for his services.
The youngster has now admitted that Serie A football appeals to him, although he noted his attention is currently fixed on the World Cup.
“My father takes care of my future,” he said to Gazzetta dello Sport. “But I’d like to play in Serie A.
“Now though, I want to do well at the World Cup, I’ve always dreamed of playing in it and I don’t want to fail.”
Xhaka’s words certainly do not rule out Liverpool. If anything, they suggest he is open to leaving Germany for a new adventure.
But the Reds may have to hurry to get their hands on him, as reports in Italy have claimed Inter have already tabled a bid of £4million plus Zdravko Kuzmanovic.