Liverpool winger Lazar Markovic has reportedly opted to join Portuguese Primeira Liga side Sporting CP on a season-long loan.
The 22-year-old found himself on the fringes of Jurgen Klopp‘s first-team squad this summer, but had previously been reluctant to make the move back to Portugal.
Markovic enjoyed considerable success with Benfica before making the £20 million move to Merseyside in 2014, but had been reported to be more willing to venture elsewhere in Europe.
But with speculation linking the Serbian with a switch to Newcastle United quashed on Tuesday, Markovic has now accepted a move to Lisbon.
According to Goal’s Melissa Reddy, this represents a major turnaround in the winger’s outlook, with Sporting already having been rebuffed earlier in the summer.
That Markovic will only leave on loan may be a disappointment to Liverpool, with Sporting previously willing to offer £16 million to secure a permanent transfer.
But having been unlikely to feature regularly under Klopp in 2016/17, this will at least give Markovic the game time he requires.
Markovic is currently with the Serbia squad preparing for their World Cup qualifier clash with the Republic of Ireland, but will now be required to pass a medical before his switch is confirmed.
Though he struggled with persistent hamstring injuries while on loan with Fenerbahce last season, the magnitude of Sporting’s interest is likely to sidestep any complications.
That Klopp is willing to sanction Markovic’s departure likely spells a prominent role for Sheyi Ojo this season.
Ojo, who is currently recovering from a back injury that has kept him out of action for a month, is poised to serve as primary backup to summer signing Sadio Mane.
Klopp had previously suggested Ojo could leave the club on loan this summer, but the 19-year-old can now hope to continue his development on Merseyside.
Andre Wisdom and Luis Alberto have already completed moves away from Liverpool on deadline day, while a deal to send Mario Balotelli to Ligue 1 side OGC Nice is in the pipeline, but both Tiago Ilori and Mamadou Sakho are now unlikely to leave the club.