Lazar Markovic is understood to have turned his back on a move to Sporting Lisbon after Schalke reportedly made an enquiry for the Liverpool winger.
The Bundesliga side, who admitted on Tuesday they are resigned to losing Man City target Leroy Sane this summer, have targeted the Serbian as a possible replacement, according to reports in the German press.
With Markovic one of six players told by Jurgen Klopp they are free to leave Liverpool this summer, Schalke are understood to have approached Markovic’s agent to see if a move to the Royal Blues would be of interest.
Despite featuring in both Liverpool’s pre-season games so far – including Sunday’s 2-0 win at Wigan – Markovic has been told he will be afforded little game time should he stay at Anfield, and is reported to prefer moves to either Italy and Germany this summer.
Markovic – signed by Brendan Rodgers for £20million from Benfica in the summer of 2014 – spent last season on loan with Fenerbahce, but a permanent move to the Turkish club looks unlikely to happen.
And having played in Portugal before, the player has also reportedly rejected advances from Sporting, who are managed by his former coach at Benfica, Jorge Jesus.
However, Schalke may not be the only club keen to rescue the player from his Anfield nightmare. Reports in Italy claim Fiorentina are also weighing up a move for the player, though it is understood they would prefer to sign him on a season-long loan, rather than a permanent deal.