Southampton’s refusal to lower their £25m asking price for Adam Lallana has caused Liverpool to reconsidered their ‘plan A’ winger signing.
That man is Lazar Markovic of Benfica, who, so say The Mirror, was the club’s first choice, only for them to baulk at the Portuguese champions’ £30m asking price.
Where the Saints have remained immovable in their financial demands, the Eagles have reportedly agreed to lower their fee for the Serbian to £25m.
Eagerness to conclude the widespread squad-bolstering necessary ahead of next season’s Champions League campaign has already been in evidence at Anfield, with the rapid acquisition of Rickie Lambert.
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The ticking of the clocks has also influenced their interest in revisiting ‘plan A’, with Brendan Rodgers’ becoming increasingly concerned that Markovic could be sold elsewhere, while he remains locked in potentially fruitless pursuit of Lallana.
Chelsea, like the Reds, have been watching the Benfica man since his teenage years and even now he remains just 23-years-old, making him perhaps a shrewder long-term signing than the Englishman.
Capped 12 times for Serbia, Markovic has shone in his first season at Estadio da Luz netting six times and assisting three further goals for teammates in 26 starts Primeira Liga appearances.
The Southampton man’s Premier League yield looks superior, with nine goals and six assists in 37 starts last term.
Yet when it’s considered that Lallana played 3082 minutes, not far shy of double Markovic’s 1655 minutes, the Serb’s efforts take on a far more favourable sheen.