Liverpool Transfer News: Latest on Lazar Markovic and Reds' Top Targets

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2014

Benfica's Lazar Markovic, from Serbia, scores past Gil Vicente's goalkeeper Adriano Fachini, right, from Brazil, during their Portuguese league soccer match at Benfica's Luz stadium in Lisbon, Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013. Markovic scored once in Benfica's 2-1 win. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Francisco Seco/Associated Press

Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool continue to be big spenders during the 2014 summer transfer window, looking to build on their excellent Premier League campaign last season by adding as much talent to the squad as possible.

The added funds from the UEFA Champions League and the sale of Luis Suarez (as confirmed by The Independent) have put the club in a great financial position, and it would appear the Reds are not afraid to immediately put those finances to good use.

Here is the latest buzz surrounding some of the top players Liverpool are targeting.


Lazar Markovic

TURIN, ITALY - MAY 01:  Giorgio Chiellini (L) of Juventus  tackles Lazar Markovic of SL Benfica durig the UEFA Europa League semi final match between Juventus and SL Benfica at Juventus Arena on May 1, 2014 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Ge
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

The Serbian winger said goodbye to Benfica fans with a message on Facebook, and his signing for the Reds should be made official in the next few days, per Metro.

Chelsea were the favourites to land Markovic, who enjoyed a great season with the Portuguese champions last year, but with the Reds reportedly offering £19.8 million for the services of the 20-year-old, the Blues decided not to match the offer.

Blessed with incredible pace, close control of the ball and a wide array of tricks, Markovic has star potential, and he's been hailed as a future superstar for the past several years now.

The transfer does hold some risk, however. Markovic wasn't particularly productive in Lisbon and failed to become a regular starter, trapped behind more experienced wingers like Enzo Perez and Nicolas Gaitan.

But given his young age and relative lack of experience, Markovic wasn't (and won't be) expected to be an immediate impact-contributor. The Reds have plenty of talent out wide and won't have to rely on the Serb in 2014-15, instead giving him plenty of time to continue his development.


Dejan Lovren

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MAY 11:  Chris Smalling (L) of Manchester United holds off Dejan Lovren (R) of Southampton during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Manchester United at St Mary's Stadium on May 11, 2014 in Southampton, Engla
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

New Southampton manager Ronald Koeman told reporters he expects the Croatian defender to join the club for their pre-season tour of Belgium, as the Saints have rejected Liverpool's latest transfer offer of £20 million, according to Sky Sports.

The Dutch manager couldn't guarantee that the player would still be a part of his Saints squad by the time the season starts, however:

"Of course you'd like to have all the players in the squad happy to be at Southampton. If there is a different opinion we will speak about it and finally the board has to make a decision."

LFC Fans Corner shared this picture, confirming the player travelled to Belgium with his team-mates:

Lovren has been the Reds' main defensive transfer target during the opening weeks of the summer transfer window, but with Southampton having already sold a number of key contributors, the club are unwilling to budge on his transfer fee.

The centre-back only joined the Saints a year ago but greatly impressed during his first season in the Premier League, and he told Sky Sports he is ready to move to a bigger club:

"At this point, I don't know what I'll do and I don't like it. Frankly, my head is already at Liverpool. They are one of the biggest clubs in the world."

Lovren's presence in Belgium indicates both parties are still acting in good faith, and the Croatian is still expected to make the move to Anfield at some point during the summer.


Kingsley Coman

Teenage sensation Kingsley Coman has turned down the chance to sign for the Reds in favour of a move to Italian champions Juventus, as reported by L'Equipe (h/t to the Daily Mail's Jonny Singer).

Dubbed "The New Paul Pogba" for his incredible physical gifts and technique on the ball, Coman became the youngest player to play for Paris Saint-Germain's senior squad during the 2013-14 season.

Following in the footsteps of Pogba, the midfielder decided on the Bianconeri over a number of big clubs, including Liverpool. As he told L'Equipe:

Juventus has a history with French players. Some of them did very good. So I told myself, why not me? I thought about it a lot. I had to take a decision regarding PSG.

Then there was Arsenal, Liverpool, Leverkusen, Bayern Munich and Bordeaux. I've hesitated a lot about Bordeaux and I talked with Willy Sagnol, I knew him from the France Under-21 team and he promised me playing time.

But this process came a little too late and I was already thinking about Juve.

The 18-year-old is regarded as one of the biggest talents to emerge from the French youth setup since Pogba made his way from Le Havre to Manchester United, but he is still very raw.

Juventus have shown a willingness to play youngsters in the past few years, and Pogba has developed into one of the world's best young players under the guidance of manager Antonio Conte.

Liverpool have a reputation of their own when it comes to managing young talent, but given Coman's young age, it is unlikely he would have featured for the club in the near future.



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