Liverpool target Alex Teixeira is ready to turn down any chance of a summer move to Anfield after it emerged he's on the brink of a big-money transfer to China. Plus, it's been reported the Reds aren't looking to cash in on Lazar Markovic.
Teixeira was being closely pursued by Liverpool throughout the winter transfer window, but the Merseysiders opted not to meet Shakhtar Donetsk's asking price. Now, the Daily Mail's Sami Mokbel has reported Chinese Super League outfit Jiangsu Suning will sign the 26-year-old in a £35 million deal.
It was alleged Liverpool could have recruited the Brazilian if they were willing to increase their offer, but Jurgen Klopp's club refused to bid more than £30 million for Teixeira's talents.
According to Mokbel, the Premier League side would have returned in the summer for another approach, but the Liverpool Echo's Andy Kelly said Klopp was justified in his reasons not to pursue a January deal:
Andy Kelly @AndyK_LivNews
@ACorrigan80 clear and concise reasons why they acted as they did (price too high) and indication why Teixeira may not be right come summer2016-2-1 22:52:36
Should Teixeira move as reported, he'll follow former Atletico Madrid striker Jackson Martinez and compatriot Ramires to the cash-rich Chinese Super League, which is emerging as a genuine hotspot for some of Europe's major players.
Jiangsu won the 2015 Chinese FA Cup but finished ninth in the league last season, and broadcaster Nik Postinger highlighted their spending spike as an indication of how "totally mad" football can be:
Nik Postinger @nikpostinger
Chinese Super League minnows Jiangsu Sainty FC have put a €50m bid on the table for Shakhtar's Alex Teixeira. Mad. Football is totally mad.2016-2-3 19:38:26
It's possible Liverpool could still come back for Teixeira in the future depending on how fruitful his Chinese expedition may prove to be, but a deal could be far more difficult if his value skyrockets.
One option at Klopp's disposal next season would be to keep Markovic at the club following his return from a season-long loan at Fenerbahce, which seems very plausible, according to reports from the Turkish media.
Turkish newspaper Sabah claimed the Merseysiders won't sell the Serbian even if someone were to offer £20 million for his signature (h/t the Mirror's Aaron Flanagan). It's stated in the report that Liverpool have kept tabs on Markovic in every game he's played this term.
It was Klopp's predecessor, Brendan Rodgers, who signed the former Partizan Belgrade starlet before loaning him to Fener last summer, and Markovic said the Northern Irishman was to blame for his exit, per Sky Sports:
I had no problem with Brendan Rodgers and we had a bond until, for some reason that remains a mystery to me, he changed.
He stopped playing me and then at the start of the season he didn't even include me in the squad, and nobody explained to me what was going on or what his plans were, so I decided to leave.
The 21-year-old has scored twice in 12 starts for Vitor Pereira's side this season, and the winger has seen an upturn in playing time of late, featuring for the full 90 minutes in two of his last three Super Lig outings.
Klopp may well want to take a closer look at Markovic himself before agreeing to any permanent sale of the player, who arrived at Liverpool from Benfica in 2014 with huge expectations on his shoulders.