Report: Everton and Stoke City target Xherdan Shaqiri close to making Schalke 04 switch

Xherdan Shaqiri

Everton and Stoke City have been linked with a move for Xherdan Shaqiri.

According to a report in the Italian outlet Sky Sport Italia, Inter Milan midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri is closing in on a return to the Bundesliga with Schalke 04.

The Swiss international has not long been in Serie A, joining Inter on a four-and-a-half year contract from Bayern Munich during the 2015 January transfer window.

Yet, a disappointing past six months has led to heavy speculation over his future, with the BBC accrediting Premier League duo Everton and Stoke City with a strong interest.

In the case of the latter, the Potters were reported to have agreed a £12 million fee for the 23-year-old. However, fresh reports claim that he is instead edging towards a return to the Bundesliga.

“Shaqiri is one step away from returning to Germany with Schalke 04. £11.5 million is the cost of the operation, and the player has already been approved. Shaqiri is close to a transfer,” states Sky Sport Italia.

Is a return to Schalke a preferable move for Shaqiri?

While the Premier League is arguably more beneficial from a financial perspective, Shaqiri is a top-class player and accustomed to Champions League football with Bayern Munich.

Schalke only managed a sixth-place finish last season, but a Europa League campaign awaits them and they will be expected to challenge once again for a top-four spot in the upcoming season.

Stoke and Everton, in contrast, will first and foremost target top-half consolidation, which could be seen as a possible step down when comparing with a switch to Veltins-Arena.

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch