Football: Stoke manager Hughes defends club record signing Shaqiri

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has dismissed former German international Stefan Effenberg's claims that midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri's transfer from Inter Milan was 'all about money'.

The Switzerland international signed a five-term deal at the Britannia Stadium on Tuesday after the Potters agreed a club record 12 million pound (S$26.2 million) fee with Serie A giants Inter Milan.

But the deal for Shaqiri, who was part of the Bayern Munich squad that won the Champions League in 2013-14, was criticised by former Bayern midfielder Effenberg, who said the transfer was a 'sad state of affairs'.

Hughes defended his player, insisting Shaqiri's decision was motivated by the chance to get more minutes on the pitch and dismissed Effenberg as a "guy who's re-located to Florida... so he hasn't got his finger on the pulse." Shaqiri was equally dismissive. "He has no job at the moment, so he can talk - he's a free man," the former Basel winger was quoted by British media as saying.

"I concentrate on my job. It's not my job to comment on what people say."

Effenberg said Shaqiri had been badly advised and could have signed for German club Schalke, who will play in the Europa League this season. "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?" Effenberg had said.

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