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Liverpool Reportedly Interested in Benfica Forward Rather Than Xherdan Shaqiri

A busy Friday gets busier for Liverpool, as they're reported to be in pursuit of Benfica's Lazar Markovic and willing to meet his buyout clause, with interest in Xherdan Shaqiri falling off as a result.

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso

World Cup off-day apparently doesn't mean anything when your best player is facing a four-month ban and a move away from the club. First news that Adam Lallana is all but done, with a medical completed at Melwood earlier in the day and a deal set to be announced shortly. Now as part of an avalanche of news and rumors comes the report that Liverpool are set to try to finalize a deal for Benfica's Lazar Markovic, who was linked a few weeks back along with a number of other names.

The news once again comes via James Pearce at the Liverpool Echo, who speculates that this spells the end of the club's pursuit of Xherdan Shaqiri. Reports earlier in the week suggested that a move for Shaqiri was close to completion, with his brother in Liverpool to hash out personal terms, but that increasingly looks like nothing more than idle chatter or, if we're going to get particularly cloak-and-dagger, an intentionally misleading leak meant to spur along action with other targets.

Markovic was previously discussed as an alternative to Lallana, but now he looks set to join the former Southampton man at Liverpool as long as the club meet Benfica's £25m asking price. The 20 year old has long been a Chelsea target, with the club reportedly also having first option on his purchase in a confusing saga. Currently, however, it looks as though Liverpool have the edge and could quickly agree a deal in the coming days to bring him aboard.

What do we know about him? Chuck laid out the basics a  few weeks back, and there's more to see below. Shaking off the post-Suarez fallout with style, I suppose.

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