Bullish loan club gear up to test Liverpool transfer resolve over forgotten star

Marko Grujic, Reece James Chelsea v Porto April 2021

Porto are ready to drive down Liverpool’s asking price for a permanent deal for midfielder Marko Grujic, according to a report.

Grujic holds the unique accolade of being Jurgen Klopp’s first signing of the German’s Anfield tenure. The Serbian signed up in January 2016, but only moved to the Reds in July that year. Nevertheless, he still faced a struggle for minutes, playing only 39 in the Premier League in the 2016/17 season. Indeed, he subsequently signed up to three loans at Cardiff and Hertha Berlin.

Last summer, he moved on loan to Porto for the season but detailed his “confusion” at the mixed messages he received from Reds bosses over his future at the time.

Grujic has largely played another sporadic role in Portugal, but his chances have improved considerably in recent weeks.

In fact, he featured heavily in both legs of the Champions League quarter-final tie with Chelsea. What’s more, he has completed two 90-minute stints in the past three games.

According to Record (via Sport Witness), he has proved to be a ‘pleasant surprise’ to club chiefs with his performances. As such, Grujic and the club are beginning to change their minds over his permanent stay.

Grujic has ‘shown’ that he is worthy of a long-term role with Porto and the club are now gearing up to talk to Liverpool about a fee.

Furthermore, Porto supposedly feel confident that they can get a decent price for the midfielder.

Stephen Warnock: 'Liverpool need to make signings this summer'

Stephen Warnock: 'Liverpool need to make signings this summer'

Former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock says the club must sign a centre-back and a striker this summer.

Liverpool did not place a purchase option in his deal, with Record stating that Porto turned down the Merseysiders’ €23million (£20million) asking price last summer.

However, given his will to stay, Porto believe that they can get ‘favourable conditions’ as Liverpool look to offload the player at the second time of asking.

Liverpool may seek to drop their valuation, given the club’s struggle for funds amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Not only that, but the Reds are reportedly after a new centre-back, with loan star Ozan Kabak and RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate both on their radar.

Carragher, Owen disagree on Liverpool transfers

Jamie Carragher

Meanwhile, Jamie Carragher and Michael Owen have differing views on how their former side should approach the summer transfer window.

As well as a centre-back, Carragher wants a new midfielder to replace Georginio Wijnaldum and a new challenger up top.

Owen, though, insists that there is no need for a “big overhaul”.

READ MORE: Carragher and Owen disagree over transfers; former wants new Liverpool ‘spine’