Liverpool’s preference was for 22-year-old Serbian midfielder Marko Grujic to sign a new deal and then spend the season on loan with Cardiff City, where he had a successful loan spell in the second half of the 2017-18 season.
In the end, though, the expected move broke down and now, with the transfer window closed for Premier League clubs, he faces a choice between spending the season down the pecking order at Anfield or heading out of the country.
The player’s preference is said to be to try to earn a spot at Liverpool this season, but at the moment that looks both unlikely and a move that could damage his career at a stage when Grujic really needs to be playing every week.
As such, he is likely to be at the club until closer to the end of the transfer for European clubs at the end of August, but if he remains out of the first team picture at that point a loan could happen, and there would be no shortage of suitors.
According to reports out of Russia today, one of those is CSKA Moscow, who would offer Grujic the chance to play regularly for a side in the Champions League this season and who are currently working to convince the player.
Negotiations, as they so often are in the world of transfer rumours, are said to be at an advanced stage, and any deal would be a loan with no option to buy the young player with two years to run on his current Liverpool deal.
While clearly the Reds would have liked to have kept a closer eye on the player and to have had him competing in the Premier League, given that’s no longer an option a side like CSKA is probably the best that could be hoped for.