Liverpool have reportedly won the race to sign Red Star Belgrade's Marko Grujic in January after the clubs settled on a £4.3 million fee, though the youngster will spend the remainder of the season in Belgrade on loan as part of the deal.
That's according to Serbian newspaper Mondo (h/t Metro's Will Giles). A conversation over the phone with manager Jurgen Klopp apparently played a "key role" in convincing the 19-year-old to move to Anfield.
Grujic, who won the 2015 Under-20 World Cup with Serbia, possesses great distribution and dribbling skills, uses his 6'3" frame well in the air, and has an eye for goal.
The midfielder has already bagged an impressive five goals and six assists in all competitions this season.
FourFourTwo's Charles Ducksbury runs the rule over his qualities:
Grujic uses his athleticism to cover the whole length of the pitch. Though obviously not in the same bracket of ability just yet, his style closely resembles Patrick Vieira and Yaya Toure: quick to reach both penalty areas without ever seeming to be reaching top speed.
He is the player Zvezda immediately look for when launching an attack, due to his ability to bring the ball out of defence and into the midfield area. His positioning on the field shows far more maturity than he should have at his age, offering easy passes for his team-mates and positioning his body superbly when receiving the ball to allow himself to move away on the front-foot when Zvezda are attacking.
To judge for yourself, check out this video of some of his highlights this season:
Though Lucas Leiva, Jordan Henderson and James Milner are performing well for the Reds, they've not replaced the talismanic Steven Gerrard following his departure from the club.
While by no means the same mould of player, hot prospect Grujic is an exceptional talent and seems to have an impressive future ahead of him, so he'd make an excellent long-term addition to Liverpool's midfield.
Another player the Reds haven't quite replaced is Raheem Sterling, but they could be set to in January, as Real Madrid's Denis Cheryshev will reportedly be allowed to depart, "clearing Liverpool to sign him," according to Hector Andreu of Spanish outlet Fichajes (h/t Metro's Jamie Sanderson).
Despite racking up seven goals and 10 assists in an impressive loan spell with Villarreal last season, the Russian hasn't been able to break into Real's starting XI. Indeed, he has made just six appearances this season, one of which infamously led to Los Blancos being kicked out of the Copa del Rey due to his ineligibility.
Cheryshev could add natural width to the Reds as well as another source of both goals and creativity.
However, according to the Mirror's David Maddock, Klopp is unlikely to dip into the market in January "unless an outstanding buy—such as his former Borussia Dortmund centre-half Neven Subotic—comes available."
Klopp's faith in his players is admirable and could serve to motivate and get the best out of them.
Cheryshev, if not an "outstanding buy," would be a strong acquisition, though, so the manager would be wise to remain open to the possibility of at least some recruitment in January.