OFFICIAL: Grujic Confirmed As Klopp's First Liverpool Signing
The 19-year-old has finalised formalities on a long-term contract with the Merseysiders, but will remain in Serbia on loan until the end of the season
Liverpool have announced the signing of Under-20 World Cup winner Marko Grujic for a fee of 5.1 million on a five-year deal from Red Star Belgrade. The midfielder, who can play an attacking role or distribute from deep, will remain at the Serbian side on loan until the end of the season and is the first transfer acquisition under manager Jurgen Klopp. Grujic arrived on Merseyside on Sunday, had his medical on Monday and has now finalised the formalities of his switch.
The 19-year-old was heavily pursued by several other European outfits, with Red Star rebuffing bids from Anderlecht ( ‘ 2m) and Stuttgart ( ‘ 5m). Internazionale were also keen on securing his services, but haggled over the transfer fee as well as the payment structure, leaving Liverpool in pole position to complete a deal. The Merseysiders were willing to settle Grujic s price upfront instead of via instalments and agreed to a 10 percent sell-on clause, which was welcomed by Red Star. It will help the SuperLiga pacesetters, who nearly went out of business 18 months ago, alleviate some of their financial difficulties.
Grujic may not be the only piece of business Liverpool announce in the January window. Klopp currently has a skeleton squad to work with due to the club s lengthy injury list. He currently has no available centre-backs, Christian Benteke is the only fit striker and his midfield is minus the talents of Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson. The Reds boss admitted the club may have to turn to the market to address their shortage of options, especially at the back.
Schalke defender Joel Matip, who is stalling on an extension, is a player that interests Liverpool but that deal would likely only be on a pre-contract basis with the Cameroon international joining in the summer. Ben Chilwell, Leicester s highly rated young left-back, is another target for the Reds. However, any real progress on that would only be expected in the off-season.
Klopp needs reinforcements now and is certain to sanction more business this month if the club can secure the right kind of recruits for the right price.