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.