Marko Grujic has revealed a personal phone call from Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, as well as advice from winger Lazar Markovic, convinced him to move to Anfield.
The midfielder, 19, joined the Reds last month and was loaned back to Red Star Belgrade until the end of the season as part of the £5.1million deal.
Grujic became the first signing of Klopp’s reign and the manager played a key role in ensuring Liverpool beat off competition from across Europe to secure his signature.
During a phone call to the youngster back in December, Klopp spelt out exactly why he wanted to take him to Anfield.
“Everything started with the now famous phone call from Klopp,” he told Serbian publication Blic.
“No-one told me that he was going to call. I was just sitting around when my phone started ringing and I saw a number on the screen starting with +44… England!
“When I answered I immediately recognised that German accent and that voice.
“He did most of the talking and told me about the plans that he had for me.
“His vision is that I should be something between a No 6 and a No 10. What they call a box-to-box midfielder.
“My only request was that I didn’t want to be loaned out, I just want to play for Liverpool. He was very open, told me about how he sees my development.
“When a coach like that calls you on the phone personally, that’s the greatest privilege. That call really cemented my desire to join Liverpool.
“He is famous as someone who likes to work with young players. He has made Subotic, Lewandowski, Kagawa.”
Markovic advice for Grujic
Grujic also spoke to fellow Serbian Markovic, who is out on loan in Turkey with Fenerbahce, before agreeing to sign for the Merseysiders.
“I spoke with Lazar Markovic and he told me good things about the club,” he said.
“He told me that Liverpool is a great club, that the pressure and expectations are enormous, and that the first two to three months are the most important.
“I will have to prove myself during that period and show my qualities. I will have to show what I am made of. I am very confident.”