Liverpool’s capture of Serbian forward Lazar Markovic on Tuesday took the Merseyside club’s summer spending above £60 million mark, although their attempts to capture Southampton defender Dejan Lovren have still proven fruitless.
As Liverpool attempts to reinvest the windfall from the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona, the Anfield club have reportedly had an offer for Lovren, 25, turned down. Indications are that this is going to be difficult for Liverpool to prise the highly-regarded defender away after the Southampton manager Ronald Koeman issued a hands-off warning.
On yet another busy transfer day for Liverpool, a £20 million price for Markovic was accepted after settling the terms with the player’s third-party owners and his former club, Benfica. In a statement posted on the club’s official website the Portugal giants confirmed that they had sold half of the player’s economic rights to Liverpool, with the player owning the remaining 50% with an investment fund linked to Pini Zahavi, a super-agent.
In accordance with the very stringent Premier League rules, it is Liverpool who now have the player’s full registration rights. This follows a complex negotiation that is becoming common whenever English clubs attempt to sign stars from overseas.
As opposed to Portuguese and Spanish football, third party ownership is banned in England. Likewise, many high profile transactions will follow a similar course with investment vehicles taking huge benefits of their stakes in the coveted assets.
It is not uncommon to buy from third-party owners especially in England. In fact, the main stipulation of the Premier League is that the contract becomes one of its members’ sole property. But the problem is that majority of investment clubs never reveal the manner of their funding as well as who will reap the benefits from the player’s transfer besides the player.
Originally destined to go to Chelsea
It appeared originally that Markovic would end up at the Stamford Bridge. Since he came through the ranks at Partizan Belgrade, he has constantly been linked with a move to Chelsea. However, the Blues decided against pursuing their interest, leaving Liverpool in the pole position to shine the 20-year old Serbian attacker.
Brendan Rodgers on signing of Markovic
“This is a truly excellent signing for us. It is one that we hope will better our squad especially with regard to attacking.” The Liverpool gaffer said.
He was massively impressive last season for Benfica and has consistently shown that he is capable of performing at the very top level consistently. His experience in European football will be very important for us.” added Brendan Rodgers.
“His attacking play is especially good, and he is also flexible enough to play in different positions. He is always concerned with making something happen. Markovic will fit in with our style of play at Liverpool.”
Brendan Rodgers also believes that their signing of the player at such a tender age gives them the opportunity to work with the player and help him nurture his vast talents. He further adds that Markovic is the kind of a person who has the desire and ambition to become even better.
What the player had to say about the move
Markovic said that his main intentions are to help Liverpool re-establish its Champions League credentials.
“I’m very happy to have signed for this great club and it is my hope that I will be able to fulfill the expectations of the coaches, players, fans and every other person linked to the club.” he said.
The player mentioned his Champions League experience, having turned out for Benfica. He added that he is looking forward to the early-season Liverpool matches and will do his best to prove himself and earn a place in a squad that came close to winning the title last season.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have shipped Iago Aspas off to Sevilla after the Spanish star endured a miserable first season at the Merseyside. At the moment, it is a year-long loan deal but one that is sure to be permanent come next summer. It is almost guaranteed that Aspas won’t be coming back to LFC and the club hope that they will recoup a big part of the £7 million that they paid for the former Celta Vigo player.
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