Confirmed: Lazar Markovic joins Sporting CP on season-long loan

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Liverpool winger Lazar Markovic will spend the 2016/17 on loan with Sporting CP, making his return to the Portuguese Primeira Liga.

Markovic was expected to leave on a temporary deal this summer after failing to establish himself under Jurgen Klopp.

But the 22-year-old had previously ruled out a move to Portugal, having already spent time with Benfica, preferring to deal with another Premier League side.

But with interest slim, despite speculation linking him with AC Milan, Schalke 04 and Newcastle United, Markovic has been persuaded to make the switch to Lisbon.

The Serbia international put pen to paper on a season-long loan on Monday evening, and will now spend the 2016/17 campaign at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.

Markovic has only made 34 senior appearances for the Reds since his £20 million move from Benfica in 2014.

He spent last season on loan with Fenerbahce, but struggled to impose himself due to a series of hamstring injuries.

But Markovic will be hoping to establish himself under his former Benfica manager Jorge Jesus, as he looks to salvage a career that once promised such great things.

PASADENA, USA - Wednesday, July 27, 2016: Liverpool's Lazar Markovic in action against Chelsea during the International Champions Cup 2016 game on day seven of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Rose Bowl. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Markovic could in theory return to Liverpool for 2017/18, but with Klopp willing to allow him to leave this summer despite having few natural wingers in his squad, this is unlikely.

He becomes the fourth player to leave the club on deadline day, following Luis Alberto (Lazio), Andre Wisdom (Red Bull Salzburg, loan) and Mario Balotelli (OGC Nice), and the 23rd player to leave the club on a temporary or permanent deal this summer.

Klopp was hoping to seal the loan departure of Mamadou Sakho before Wednesday’s 11pm deadline, along with the sale of Tiago Ilori, but neither are set to be completed.

But with Markovic away for 2016/17, Klopp can approach the campaign with a relatively streamlined squad, returning after the international break with a home clash against Leicester City in the Premier League.

Best of luck, Lazar.

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