Fjortoft: Inter Milan likely to beat Stoke City to Xherdan Shaqiri signing

The Potters have launched an ambitious bid to sign the Bayern Munich star this week.

All summer the future of Swiss international Xherdan Shaqiri was open for debate. The talented attacking midfielder is obviously a player any team in Europe would want to have as part of their squad - but he is currently struggling for first-team football where he is.

Shaqiri is in competition with the likes of Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Mario Gotze and Thomas Muller for first-team football at Bayern Munich.

After impressing at the World Cup once again his name has entered the gossip columns. With first-team opportunities rare for Shaqiri at the Allianz Arena it was generally expected he might be on the move.

In the Premier League the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Manchester United were linked.

Shaqiri hinted at a potential exit earlier in the season, stating:

"In the summer I said that I would like to have more playing time. I sat down with the club and made my position clear. I accepted staying, but in the winter we need to sit again and look at the situation."

But while the Premier League big boys have been linked it is Stoke City who have waded in and made an offer for the attacker.

Stoke assistant Mark Bowen revealed that Stoke were keen on signing the player and reports are now suggesting that they will make a £16 million bid for his services in the coming days.

Of course, they are not alone. Inter Milan are in advanced negotiations to complete a deal, but financially, the offer from Stoke is far more lucrative for Bayern.

Inter want to sign him on loan for the rest of the season, then paying the remainder of the fee in instalments. Bayern would much prefer a straight up transaction - which is where Stoke believe they have the upper hand.

But one German football expert does not believe Shaqiri is Potteries bound.

Jan Age Fjortoft spent a considerable part of his career playing on England with the likes of Swindon Town and Barnsley, now the Norwegian works as a sports pundit in Germany. He gained notoriety in 2013 when he rightly predicted Mesut Ozil was on his way to Arsenal.

Now he believes Shaqiri will still head to Inter Milan:

But Fjortoft has been wrong as well as right in the past, Stoke fans will hope this is a case of the former.

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