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Monday 22 January 2018

Stephane Henchoz: Xherdan Shaqiri may have joined Stoke for financial reasons

Xherdan Shaqiri joined Stoke from Inter Milan in August.
Xherdan Shaqiri joined Stoke from Inter Milan in August.

Former Liverpool and Switzerland defender Stephane Henchoz has become the latest ex-player to suggest compatriot Xherdan Shaqiri joined Stoke for the money.

The Potters wrapped up the club-record £12million signing of winger Shaqiri from Inter Milan in August.

And soon after, at his official unveiling, the 23-year-old ex-Bayern Munich man laughed off accusations his main motivation in making the move had been financial.

That claim had come from former Bayern and Germany midfielder Stefan Effenberg, who has now been echoed by Henchoz.

Henchoz was this week quoted by Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger as saying: "(English) clubs have a tremendous amount of money, and that will be even more pronounced from the 2016-17 season.

"Why else would Xherdan Shaqiri sign a five-year contract with Stoke?

"He is certainly not there because Stoke have big ambitions to reach the Champions League, which will never be the case. It is only because of the money at Stoke.

"I find it incomprehensible. He's at Stoke because he can get money there he can get nowhere else. That's all."

In August, Effenberg said he also could not see why Shaqiri would join Stoke other than for money.

He was quoted as saying: ''I do not understand Shaqiri's move to Stoke at all. You have been badly advised if you go there.

''This is a shame and a sad state of affairs. Only because they are throwing around cash? Is it really all about money for footballers these days?''

When asked about that at his unveiling, Shaqiri said of Effenberg with a smile: ''He has no job at the moment, so he can talk - he's a free man.

''Anybody can talk who is free. But I don't want to comment on this.

''I will concentrate on my job - I'm happy to be here and I can't wait to play. This is my job.''

Stoke boss Mark Hughes defended Shaqiri, saying the prospect of getting more playing time had been the main factor in the Switzerland international opting to make the switch.

Hughes also suggested Effenberg "hasn't really got his finger on the pulse of world football."

Press Association

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