Following yesterday’s confirmation from Red Star Belgrade sporting director Zvezdan Terzic that a deal had been agreed to send 19-year-old midfielder Marko Grujic to Liverpool, the Serbian club have today officially announced that they have accepted Liverpool’s offer.
In part, it’s an effort meant to placate fans, many of whom aren’t happy to see one of the club’s most promising prospects ever produced sold off half a season after becoming a regular in the first team. As one might expect, in the end their reasons all come down to money, which Red Star desperately need.
In danger of running afoul of UEFA fair play regulations, the Serbian SuperLiga club need money now rather than in a year or two, and if they can’t balance the books it may not matter they regularly win the league and qualify for the Champions League. And Liverpool, it would seem, have offered them cash up front.
"In the last 10 days we have recieved three formal offers for the transfer of Marko Grujic," read an official statement on Red Star’s club website today confirming the deal. "From Anderlecht €2M, from Stuttgart €5M, and from Liverpool an offer worth €7M and 10% of the next transfer."
There was also interest from Inter Milan, though the Serie A side never made a formal offer. Liverpool have agreed to pay the entire €7M up front in order to get the deal done, but they will receive €1M back as a loan fee for allowing Grujic to remain at Red Star until the summer.
Despite suggestions Grujic’s father could attempt to block the deal—with quotes in the Serbian press claiming he will "not let them ruin my child" by selling him too soon—both clubs say the deal was undertaken with the involvement of Grujic’s family and all parties were satisfied before Liverpool made their offer official.
"Red Star want Marko Grujic to stay for the next ten years, but the financial situation of our club dictates the adoption of a different approach," concluded the Serbian club’s statement on the pending sale. "The board considered the offer and unanimously accepted the offer of the English giants.
"Liverpool will pay the money immediately and the player will stay with Red Star until July 1st, 2016. We wanted to respect the desire of the player’s father that he remain until next summer at the club, and we have agreed to pay Liverpool €1M for the loan of six months."