Liverpool continued their substantial activity in this summer’s transfer window on Tuesday, with Lazar Markovic arriving from Benfica to become the club’s fourth signing of the summer. The 20-year-old arrived for a reported £20 million to add to the transfers of Emre Can, Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana.
"This is an exciting signing for us and one that improves our squad, in terms of attacking options, for the coming season,” Liverpool Brendan Rodgers told the club’s official website.
"He was hugely impressive for Benfica last season and has proved he has the ability to produce the goods in European competition as well, which will be important for us.”
Boosted by the £75 million received from the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona, Liverpool are likely to ensure that Markovic is far from the last signing this summer. The next priority for Rogers as he seeks to build a squad capable of challenging in both the Premier League and Champions League is set to be at left-back. And Liverpool continue to try and secure a deal for leading target Alberto Moreno.
Liverpool have been frustrated at the failure to agree a fee with Sevilla for the Spain international thus far. Spanish forward Iago Aspas was set to be part of a deal, but he has now moved to Sevilla on a season-long loan. ESPN reports that Liverpool will continue to try and negotiate a transfer for Moreno separately, with chief executive Ian Ayre willing to strike a compromise between Liverpool’s valuation of the player at £16 million and Sevilla’s asking price of more than £20 million.
If a deal cannot be reached, ESPN thinks that Chelsea’s Ryan Bertrand is the leading alternative, while the Daily Mirror considers Southampton’s 21-year-old Ben Davies an option. Neither, though, has the pedigree of Moreno, who has won three caps for Spain.
There continues to be interest from Liverpool in adding Davies’ Southampton teammate Dejan Lovren. The Croatia international had an impressive first season in the Premier League last campaign and is seen as a player who could improve Liverpool’s suspect central defense. Having already lost Lambert and Lallana to Anfield, as well as Luke Shaw to Manchester United, Southampton will keenly resist another big-name departure. And they have played hardball by rejecting a £20 million move and ensuring that Lovren has joined the club’s pre-season training following his exploits in the World Cup, despite having stated his desire to join Liverpool.
Liverpool may well still get their man, but there appears little chance of them securing a deal for Marco Reus, despite speculation from the Daily Express. The tabloid suggests that Liverpool will make a bid of £44 million for the Borussia Dortmund star. That appears farfetched, while Dortmund will have no desire to sell Reus at any price and the player would likely have a line of suitors should he be available.
After welcoming Lallana and Markovic, Liverpool may have now filled their quota of wide players, meaning a long rumored move for Bayern Munich’s Xherdan Shaqiri could be off. Further adding to that sense, the German champions have dismissed the possibility of the skilled, barrel-chested Switzerland attacker departing.
“There are no thoughts at all about selling him,” sporting director Matthias Sammer told German publication Kicker. “Xherdan is an important player for the future.”