Liverpool will reportedly ask for an incredible fee for Marko Grujic, following interest from Atletico Madrid as they aim to replace the in-demand Rodri.
Grujic has been one of the standout performers on loan at Hertha Berlin this season, becoming an immediate favourite at the Olympiastadion.
The Serbian has expressed a desire to stay with the Bundesliga side beyond the end of the current campaign if possible, but it remains to be seen whether he has an immediate future with the Reds.
Regardless, Hertha won’t be the only side pursuing a deal if Liverpool do opt to part ways with Jurgen Klopp‘s first signing, with Bayern Munich and Lazio among the sides linked.
ESPN‘s Germany correspondent Stephan Uersfeld, who regularly reports on Hertha and could have sourced his information from those in Berlin, claims they have outlined Grujic as a “possible replacement.”
Uersfeld confusingly describes the 23-year-old as a “Liverpool misfit,” but the most interesting angle he presents is their valuation.
The Reds are said to value the midfielder at €40 million (£34.6m), which would make him the fifth-most expensive sale in the club’s history, just ahead of Christian Benteke (£32m).
It is unclear whether this would deter Atletico, but it seems likely despite the Liga challengers spending €60 million to sign Thomas Lemar last summer and €65 million to bring Diego Costa back to Madrid the year before.
Grujic is certainly not at their level at this stage, but perhaps the considerable incoming for Rodri could skew the fee paid for his replacement.
Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards has fared excellently in the selling market in recent years, despite the majority of those leaving Anfield doing so with the club’s willing.
Benteke’s £32 million switch to Crystal Palace was a marquee deal, while Danny Ings (£20m), Dominic Solanke (£19m), Jordon Ibe (£15m), Danny Ward (£12.5m) and Brad Smith (£6m) have all been sold for relatively high fees.
It can be argued that Grujic should have a future at Liverpool, with his height, physicality, engine and box-to-box ability making him a suitable candidate for Klopp’s midfield.