Liverpool Transfer News: Latest on Martin Odegaard, Lazar Markovic, Top Rumours

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2016

Real Madrid's B player Martin Odegaard from Norway runs during a training session in Valdebebas stadium in Madrid, Spain, Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. Real Madrid will face Malmo FF in a Champion's League Group A soccer match on Tuesday.(AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press

Liverpool have been dealt a big blow in their reported pursuit of Real Madrid youngster Martin Odegaard, as Los Blancos are not even entertaining the idea of letting him go.

The Norway international was signed by Real to much fanfare a year ago, but he has yet to establish himself in the first-team squad—although that is unsurprising as he is still only 17 years old.

Recent reports had indicated that Reds manager Jurgen Klopp was eager to bring in the talented forward, but Real are reportedly insistent he is not for sale under any circumstances, per Santiago Siguero in Spanish outlet Marca.

The report indicates that Real intend to slowly develop Odegaard before he becomes a regular first-team fixture in the hope that he can one day be a Ballon d'Or winner. 

It would certainly be odd for Real to let him go after just a year on their books, but a potential loan move for the former Stromsgodset star had previously been mooted as a possibility, per MailOnline's Pete Jenson.

However, it seems the Real hierarchy want him to stay around the club as he continues to develop, and Zinedine Zidane's appointment as Los Blancos boss could potentially see Odegaard given more first-team opportunities, per football analyst Ben Wells:

Liverpool's chances of signing him, even on a short-term loan, seem to have gone out of the window, and they will have to look elsewhere for attacking reinforcements.  

One option Klopp is reportedly considering is to recall Lazar Markovic early from his season-long loan at Fenerbahce.

According to (h/t translator David Amoyal), the German manager wants to take the 21-year-old winger back to Anfield in January, but Fener want to keep him until the end of his deal.

Fenerbahce's Lazar Markovic celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Europa League football match between Fenerbahce and Celtic at Fenerbahce Sukru Saracoglu stadium in Istanbul on December 10, 2015.  / AFP / OZAN KOSE        (Photo credit should read OZA
OZAN KOSE/Getty Images

Reports have also indicated that Fiorentina want to sign the Serb, per Calciomercato (via Sport Witness).

If Klopp wants Markovic to stay on the Liverpool books, then the most likely scenario is that he will return to Merseyside at the end of the season, as it seems Fenerbahce are not willing to cancel the loan deal early.

Markovic is a hugely talented attacking player and could benefit from playing under Klopp, who has a history of working effectively with young players. The player had struggled to make an impact under Brendan Rodgers.

He has the skill and work rate to fit into Klopp's setup, and he has shown touches of genius in flashes at Fener, per

Klopp's squad has been savaged by injury recently, and as a result, Liverpool signed Steven Caulker on loan to provide cover in the centre-back region—a desperate move according to Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe and Dean Jones:

Recalling Markovic would be no such calamity—he is a very talented player. But if Fenerbahce want to keep him, then Liverpool will struggle to get him back in January.

Elsewhere, Watford are reportedly eyeing Liverpool's 19-year-old striker Jerome Sinclair in the January transfer window, per the Daily Telegraph (via Joseph Pearson in the Express). 

The youngster's Anfield contract expires in the summer, and an agreement over his extension has not been reached.

Following his first senior goal for the Reds against Exeter City in the FA Cup, the Hornets are now reportedly favourites to sign him despite previous links with Manchester City.