Lazar Markovic is still a Liverpool player, this despite that the club agreed a cut-rate £2.9M fee with Anderlecht on August 31st that had the player travelling to Belgium to undergo his medical and everyone assuming the deal was done.
In the end, though, it fell through over personal terms and Markovic will now run down his Liverpool contract and leave on a free next summer. Neither his current club nor the one he looked to be signing for are happy about that.
“Our president and sports director did everything to convince him,” Anderlecht manager Hein Vanhaezebrouck said. “They waited until Liverpool lowered the price. They made a crazy effort. It’s his own fault that the deal fell through.”
Markovic is currently on £35k per week wages at Liverpool and in Belgium the average player makes around £5k per week. A player like Markovic, a valued target, might have been able to do better than average and earn £10k per week.
Over a year, that’s a loss of a little more than £1M for Markovic, who likely believes he can still make a career at a club like Anderlecht starting from next summer. But it will cost him a year of playing in what should have been his prime.
The pay cut he would have had to take isn’t insignificant, but Markovic is 24 years of age. He will be 25 next summer when he moves on. Running down his Liverpool contract seems an admission he will never then return to a big club.
An ambitious player with self-belief, at his age, would be looking to play—and looking to turn that playing time into re-establishing his once promising prospect status and earning a move somewhere better in a year or two.
A player who still believed he could be the star everyone expected him to be at 20 would have bet on himself taking a pay cut now to earn more again in a year or two. It appears he wasn’t confident in making that bet.