Liverpool close in on deal to sign midfielder and then loan him back
By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Liverpool are closing in on the first major signing of the Jurgen Klopp era, Football Insider sources understand.
The Merseysiders are in talks with Red Star Belgrade to finalise a £5million deal for central midfielder Marko Grujic.
A Liverpool source has told Football Insider that chief executive Ian Ayre has flown to Belgrade to finalise the signing of the 19-year-old.
The plan is to agree a deal in which the Serbia Under-21 international signs on a permanent deal and then is loaned back to Red Star for the rest of the season.
Grujic is regarded as one of the most promising young talents in European football and has been targeted by a number of elite clubs including Chelsea, Manchester United and Inter Milan.
Cash-strapped Serbian Super League leaders Red Star are resigned to selling the 6ft 3in midfielder, who has scored a creditable five goals in 21 league matches this season.
Asked about his future last week, Grujic said: “I’ll try to respect the club, the fans and the general public, but again I think that for myself I have to choose the best environment where I get the chance to play and where I work with good coaches in good conditions.
“It is certain that I remain here until the end of qualifying for the Champions League. I had a talk with Liverpool but I did not receive yet any agreement. I’m still a Red Star player.”