Red Star Belgrade midfielder Marko Grujic has agreed a deal with Liverpool and will fly to Merseyside ahead of Christmas to undergo a medical according to multiple reports today. The 19-year-old, who was until recent weeks expected to move to Inter Milan, will become the first signing of the Jürgen Klopp era.
However, he won’t be making his Liverpool debut next month. Instead, he will be returning to Red Star for the remainder of the season. Both the club and player made keeping him around as they push for a Serbian league title and Champions League qualification key to transfer negotiations, and without the loan-back agreement there would be no deal.
Red Star, according to the Liverpool Echo, have also negotiated a 10% sell-on clause. The total fee is believed to be worth €7M, though Red Star will return €1M to Liverpool in order to keep Grujic around for the second half of the 2015-16 season, bringing Liverpool’s total payment down to €6M, or roughly £4.37M using current exchange rates.
Grujic made his first appearance for Red Star in 2012-13 as a 17-year-old, and started last season with Kolubara of the Serbian second division on loan before returning to make nine further appearances for Red Star. As a 19-year-old this season, Grujic has been a mainstay, making 21 appearances and playing 88% of the minutes for Red Star in the league.
In those 21 appearances, Grujic has scored 5 goals and 7 assists. While he was being linked to Inter, he drew comparisons to Paul Pogba due to his imposing physical presence and drive on the ball. Being linked with Liverpool, Steven Gerrard’s name has been added to the mix. Either way, expectations will be high for the talented youngster.
Meanwhile, speculation persists that the signing of Galatasaray’s Kevin Großkreutz’ is also imminent, and that the 27-year-old fullback could become the first new signing under Klopp to play for Liverpool.