Xherdan Shaqiri
Xherdan Shaqiri Reuters

Liverpool are reportedly leading the race ahead of Manchester United to sign Xherdan Shaqiri - after Merseyside officials opened talks with Bayern Munich over a £16m summer deal.

Brendan Rodgers was reportedly keen on signing the 22-year-old winger during the January transfer window after failing to bring Mohamed Salah to the club, but German newspaper BILD claim that a move to Merseyside is now likely to happen this summer.

BILD claims Liverpool officials recently opened preliminary talks with Bayern regarding a summer move – and the Reds are prepared to launch a £16m to complete the deal.

The Switzerland international joined the Bundesliga giants from Basel in 2012 for around £10m but has since struggled for regular football both under Jupp Heynckes and Pep Guardiola.

After making just 10 Bundesliga starts last season - despite scoring six goals - Shaqiri himself recently suggested a summer move to the Premier League was possible– hinting Liverpool could be his preferred destination as he wants to play in the Champions League.

"It is clear that I cannot continue like this. If nothing changes, I will have to make some changes myself. I want to play in the important games as well and not just in the Bundesliga. I don't want to go through another year like this.

"England would be an option. If I were to leave Bayern, it will be for a foreign club. But it will have to be a club challenging for the title. I only want to play for a major club. The Champions League is important to me. We will see what happens," he said.

Furthermore, BILD claims that even though Bayern are tempted to keep the Liverpool target in their ranks, they are already planning to add another winger to the squad following Frank Ribery's recent injury – leaving Shaqiri's future at the Allianz in even more doubt.

Liverpool have already completed the signing of both striker Ricky Lambert, from Southampton, and midfielder Emre Can.