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Rumour Mongering: Schalke Target Markovic as Potential Sané Replacement

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Schalke need a replacement for Manchester City-bound Leroy Sané, and it could be Lazar Markovic.

Wigan Athletic v Liverpool - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Liverpool winger Lazar Markovic is on the block this summer. The club aren’t desperate to sell, but for the right price—widely believed to be the £20M the club paid to sign him from Benfica two summers ago—they would sanction a move away from Anfield for the 22-year-old Serbian.

Rumours linking him with a move back to Portugal, with both Sporting CP and former club Benfica rumoured potential destinations, hit hard against that asking price. Both would reportedly be happy to take Markovic on loan, but neither has the cash at hand to purchase the winger. Meanwhile, Liverpool are only willing to sell.

Queue reports that Schalke have put Markovic near the top of their list of potential replacements for Leroy Sané, expected to make a £45M move to Manchester City within the coming days. Once he goes, Schalke will have both the cash and the need to bring in a speedy supporting attack player to take his place.

According to Goal’s Melissa Reddy, Markovic is at least a serious option. Whether he’s the top option, of course, is another and perhaps more important question. With Sané set to move on shortly, though, it should become clear in short order whether Schalke are a legitimate potential landing spot for the young Serbian winger.

Markovic arrived at Anfield in the summer of 2014 a highly rated 20-year-old, with manager Brendan Rodgers preferring him to new Liverpool signing Sadio Mané—the man whose arrival this summer seems to signal there is no longer a place for Markovic at the club—and others put to him as options by the transfer committee.

However, Markovic struggled to adjust to the Premier League and to his new manager. He made 34 total appearances in 2014-15, but often played out of position and only managed three goals and one assist for a goal action every 469 minutes he was on the pitch. It added up to a second season loan at Fenerbahce.

Things didn’t go a great deal better for him in Turkey. In fact, in some ways it was probably worse. His 2015-16 season was plagued by a series of injuries, and when he was fit, he only scored two goals and three assists in 21 total appearances—or a goal involvement every 239 minutes in a far weaker league than England’s.

Now, if a club is willing to pay Liverpool the £20M they paid Benfica for him two summers ago, Markovic will be free to move on and attempt to resurrect what not too long ago seemed a massively promising career. On paper at least, if a deal does come to pass, Schalke seems like a solid potential landing spot.