Liverpool have agreed a €6M deal for Red Star Belgrade teenager Marko Grujic according to reports in the Serbian press. They further claim that the deal includes a loan back to Red Star to allow Grujic to see out the current season with the SuperLiga club as they look to win the league title and secure Champions League qualification.
This follows on from confirmation from Red Star manager Miodrag Bozovic that the club has had multiple offers, including ones from England, and the acknowledgement that it was always unlikely that Europe’s 27th ranked league could hold on to a top talent like Grujic for very long. If the reports are true, though, they will at least get to see out the current season with him.
However, sources in England with ties to Liverpool believe the deal isn’t quite done—though it is very, very close to being signed and sealed. The Echo claim the main hold-up is that Grujic’s parents are concerned a move to Anfield might be too much, too soon for the youngster and that he could go the way of fellow Serbians at Anfield Lazar Markovic and Milan Jovanovic.
For their part, Serbia’s Mondo believe that Klopp has spoken to the young midfielder and that the current manager’s personal interest in signing the 19-year-old has been the deciding factor. Either way, Liverpool appear clear front runners, and Grujic looks set to become the first signing of the Jürgen Klopp era—even if he will immediately be loaned back to Red Star.
Liverpool had been competing with Inter Milan and Stuttgart for his signing, with both clubs reportedly willing to pay a similar amount for Grujic. Klopp’s presence, along with Liverpool’s willingness to loan Grujic back for the second half of the season, appear to have been the deciding factors that swung things in Liverpool’s favour.