Liverpool look set to make their fourth major signing of the summer as reports from Merseyside claim Lazar Markovic is set to undergo a medical on Thursday before completing his move from Benfica.
The Serbian, who reportedly had his $34 million release clause triggered by the Reds this past weekend, will arrive at Anfield along with new signings Emre Can, Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana. Once the medical is complete, Markovic and Liverpool will negotiate individual terms to seal the deal.
Liverpool pressed forward with activating Markovic’s release clause after conceding defeat to Arsenal in the race to sign Chilean winger Alexis Sanchez. In Markovic, however, Liverpool believe they have found a gem and according to former Chelsea manager Avram Grant, the 20-year-old is next in line of world-class talents.
“I can say that apart from Ronaldo and Messi, Markovic is one of the best talents I’ve ever seen at 19 years of age,” said Grant, who managed Markovic at Partizan Belgrade last year.
Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic, who played with Markovic at Benfica, echoed Grant’s sentiments: “What can I say about Markovic? It was excellent playing with this kid for six months. He has such massive potential that if he changed his attitude in training he could be one of Europe’s best players in his position. But he’s young, he’ll mature, and then nobody will be able to stop him.”
While his favored position is as a right winger, Markovic can handle himself on the left, as a central attacker or as a secondary striker. Given Liverpool’s current setup and Markovic’s size, expect the Serbian to compete with Raheem Sterling, Adam Lallana and Coutinho in the attacking midfield roles while Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen may also factor in.
Markovic registered 7 goals and 4 assists in 48 appearances for Benfica last season.
Heading into the their final UEFA Champions League Group B game, Manchester United hold their destiny in their own hands, but any slip-up could mean it’s Europa League on Thursday nights for Louis Van Gaal‘s men.
[ MORE: Champions League standings ]
The Red Devils would have advanced to the knockout stage with a victory over third-place PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday, but slumped to an ugly 0-0 draw instead.
[ MORE: Three things we learned from Man United 0-0 PSV ]
So, here’s all of the scenarios for the final matchday of the group stage, away to Wolfsburg, in which United would advance to the round of 16 advance:
- A Man United win will see Man United finish top of Group B
- A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV draw or loss (vs. CSKA Moscow), will see Man United finish second in Group B
- A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV victory, will see Man United finish third in Group B
- A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV loss, will see Man United finish second in Group B
- A Man United loss by more than one goal, coupled with a PSV draw, would see Man United finish third in Group B
- A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV win, would see Man United finish third in Group B
[ MORE: Champions League schedule ]
There are your scenarios for Man United as it’s pretty simple to break it down: Win, and they go through. Fail to win, and their fate is completely in the hands of PSV.
The Foxes are top of the Premier League and are led by a surging Jamie Vardy but how long can they keep shocking the world?
With six tough games coming up between now and the start of 2016, Claudio Ranieri‘s men will be pushed to their limit but so far this season they’ve been sensational and Vardy has equaled Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistlerooy’s record of scoring in 10-straight PL games.
[ MORE: Full PST Extra archive ]
Can he make it 11 in a row on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra) when United visit the King Power Stadium? As for the Red Devils, they sit in second place and are just one point behind the flying Foxes’. Louis Van Gaal‘s men have certainly flown under the radar so far and our churning out wins at an impressive rate.
Jenna Corrado and I discuss that and more in the latest edition of PST Extra. Click play on the video above to see our chat in full.
Rog and Davo revel in another chapter of the Leicester City fairytale, break down Liverpool’s shock dismantling of Manchester City and discuss Arsenal’s slip against West Brom.
Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.
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Joe Hart was forced to leave Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat to Juventus in UEFA Champions League play on Wednesday due to a hamstring injury, which he seemed to incur while making a spectacular one-on-one kick-save late in the second half.
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Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed after the game that Hart’s injury is indeed a hamstring issue, and went on to say that he would need further tests once the team arrives back in Manchester to determine the severity and how long, if at all, City and England’s no. 1 would be out of action.
Man City, currently third in the Premier League on 26 points, will host eighth-place Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).