Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri, who has worn the colors of several major European clubs in recent years, is on the verge of signing with the Chicago Fire.
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According to the Major League Soccer (MLS) website, negotiations with the 30-year-old’s current club, Olympique Lyonnais, are very advanced, but no common ground has yet been found.
Whoever would take a designated player spot with the Illinois club has played with Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan since 2012. After a successful stint in England, where he won the Champions League, Shaqiri joined OL last August.
He was trained in Switzerland with the renowned FC Basel and worked with Georg Heitz, the current sports director of the Fire.
Shaqiri regularly wears the captain’s armband with the Swiss national team. He represented his country 100 times, scoring 26 goals.
Blanco stays in Portland
As for the finalists of the last MLS Cup, the Portland Timbers, Argentine veteran Sebastian Blanco has agreed to stay with the team by signing a two-year contract, according to the MLSsoccer.com site.
Another formation of the Garber circuit would have been in the race to acquire the 33-year-old midfielder. Blanco joined Portland in 2017, tallying 33 goals and 42 assists in 127 games.
Also according to the MLS website, the former Most Valuable Player contender would give up his Designated Player title to stay with the Timbers.
Remember that the Oregon club lost its legendary captain Diego Valeri this winter, he who chose to end his career with Lanus, in Argentina, where he had also played with Blanco.