Liverpool nearing deal for Croatia star Domagoj Vida, but Besiktas' £22m asking price poses a problem

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Liverpool are nearing a deal to bring in Croatia World Cup defensive stalwart Domagoj Vida.

Personal terms are believed to have been agreed between the 29-year-old ponytailed defender and the Reds, although his current club Besiktas and their £22m asking price appear to be the one stumbling block.

Vida was a fundamental figure for Croatia this summer, playing a key role in the heart of the Vatreni defence alongside Liverpool ace Dejan Lovren as they reached the final in Russia only to go down to a 4-2 defeat to France.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been busy strengthening his squad this summer, and Vida is another addition the German is keen on.

The Reds are becoming genuine Premier League contenders ahead of the new season, having significantly bolstered the spine of the squad with the arrivals of Alisson, Naby Keita, Fabinho, as well as Swiss winger Xherdan Shaqiri.

Combine those new faces with the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah, and it could be argued that the Merseyside giants are primed to mount the most serious title challenge to champions Manchester City.

Liverpool secured a top-four Premier League finish and reached the Champions League final last season – downed 3-1 by Los Blancos in the final.

They have previously been heavily criticised by all quarters over their porous backline, and are reportedly eyeing further reinforcements in that department.

According to The Sun, via Turkish site A Spor, they have reached an agreement on personal terms for Vida, but Besiktas’ asking price is now reportedly what stands in the way of the Croatian international arriving at Anfield.

As a possible back-up option and quality competition for places for Van Dijk and Lovren, he could be a sensible addition for Liverpool as they look to build a squad capable of competing on various fronts next season and beyond.

Vida’s no-nonsense style of defending would also suit the Premier League, with his physicality and aerial strength ticking the right boxes for Klopp if a deal can be done.

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New Liverpool signing Xherdan Shaqiri hits back after attack by former Manchester United players

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Xherdan Shaqiri in action for Switzerland

Liverpool new boy Xherdan Shaqiri insists his “conscience is clear” after criticism of his attitude while with Stoke.

The Switzerland international managed eight goals and seven assists last season, leading the relegated Potters in both categories.

But his inconsistency led to disapproval from the likes of pundits Gary and Phil Neville, former England internationals, who respectively labelled him “unprofessional” and “a disgrace”.

Shaqiri, who moved to Anfield earlier this month for a fee understood to be £13million, is unconcerned by the pair’s opinions.

He told several national newspapers: “They were Man United players – maybe they don’t like Liverpool. I don’t know, it could be.

“Some people like you, some don’t. I’ve played three years in the Premier League. I’ve proved I can play in this league.

“I was the top scorer in the team with goals and assists. For me, my conscience is clear and I don’t have to comment any more on this.”

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp praises Mohamed Salah's big impact in win over Manchester City

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Mohamed Salah had a big impact against the Cityzens

Jurgen Klopp said there was “a lot of good moments and a lot of bad moments” as a Sadio Mane stoppage-time penalty helped Liverpool to a 2-1 win over Manchester City.

Leroy Sane broke the stalemate at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on 57 minutes, but Mohamed Salah buried a header less than a minute after coming on to draw things level.

Neither Salah nor match-winner Mane were expected to feature in the clash, but the latter showed his worth by rolling a spot-kick past Joe Hart.

Klopp was quoted on the Liverpoolfc.com site as saying: “The game for us was very important, but it is not a sign in the direction or whatever.

“It’s only a game we played and a lot of good moments which we can use and a lot of bad moments we can work on. That’s all.”

The German added that he had no concerns over Salah’s shoulder injury.

He said: “I was not concerned about it otherwise he wouldn’t have played.

“He came in and scored after pretty much 35 seconds. He had a big impact together with Sadio and Dom (Solanke), and the midfield with Marko (Grujic), Pedro (Chirivella) and Ben (Woodburn) played fantastic.”

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was upbeat about the display despite the end result.

He was quoted on the Manchester City official website as saying: “It was incredible, what we did.

“For 75 minutes, it was incredible with the players we have what we did against that team – the finalists of the Champions League, who have amazing players.

“I’m so proud and happy to be manager of these guys for that reason. Our personality was incredible. In the first half, we had a very young average age.

“For the last 15 minutes, we were so tired. We made some changes and in the last few minutes, Liverpool deserved to score goals.”

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