Shaqiri joins the fire on club record transfer fee, with Douglas Costa signing for Galaxy


Xherdan Shaqiri and Douglas Costa join Lorenzo Insigne on the list of the best players signed by MLS clubs since the beginning of the year.

Xherdan Shaqiri is the biggest move the Fire have made since signing Bastian Schweinsteiger in 2017. (Image: Twitter/chicagofire)

Insigne will join Toronto from Napoli on a contract from July 1, while the moves for Shaqiri and Costa will take effect immediately, meaning they will be able to play for the Chicago Fire and LA Galaxy respectively at the start of the season. .

The Fire agreed a club-record transfer fee of $7.5 million with Lyon for Shaqiri, who is Switzerland’s captain. The 30-year-old is by no means a player looking for a few quiet years before retiring. Instead, Shaqiri, a former player for Inter Milan, Bayern Munich or Liverpool, is hungrier than ever and comes to inspire the Fire with a winning mentality.

Shaqiri is a 2021 Premier League champion and 2020 Champions League winner with Liverpool, also holding titles in Germany and Switzerland. Shaqiri’s move to Chicago was facilitated by his relationship with athletic director Georg Heinz. The couple previously worked in Basel.

Shaqiri is expected to report for the Fire on February 26, when they take on Inter Miami in the opening round of the new MLS campaign.

Douglas Costa, the third DP in Galaxy

Now 31, Costa comes from playing for teams like Bayern and Juventus. He is the third DP on the Galaxy roster, along with Chicharito and Kevin Cabral. All three are expected to start up front in Greg Vanney’s 4-3-3 system. Costa will arrive on loan from Juventus for six months, then he will continue in LA for another year and a half.

He played 31 games for Brazil, scoring three goals. In May 2021, Juventus loaned him to boyhood club Gremio, with Costa playing 25 games and scoring two goals. The attacker is a three-time Bundesliga champion with Bayern and a three-time Serie A winner with Juventus. Costa will be immediately available for selection from him, which means he could make his debut in a Galaxy jersey on February 28, when MLS Cup-winning New York City FC visit.

At +1,600, the LA Galaxy are the sixth favorite to win the MLS Cup this year, behind LAFC, New England Revs, Seattle (all at +700), NYCFC (at +1,000) and Sporting KC (at +1,200). Chicago Fire sits just 18th on the bookmakers’ pre-competition favorites list at +5000.

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