Marko Grujic played his last competitive game on loan at Hertha Berlin on Saturday, with the result having an impact on the price tag of a Liverpool target.
The Serbian has enjoyed a very productive spell in the Bundesliga this season, establishing himself as one of Hertha’s key players despite their mixed campaign.
Pal Dardai’s side finished 11th in the German top flight, but five goals, one assist and a series of towering box-to-box displays have gained Grujic a host of top-level admirers.
The same can be said of any likely incomings and outgoings, with the focus remaining on the clash with Tottenham in Madrid on June 1.
Liverpool confirmed the signing of Fabinho two days after their defeat to Real Madrid in last season’s final, so no developments should be expected before next month.
But Hertha’s 5-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday could have a bearing on the rumoured pursuit of Germany international Julian Brandt.
Brandt scored the third goal on an afternoon that saw Lucas Alario net a hat-trick and Valentino Lazaro grab Hertha’s consolation, and Leverkusen secured fourth place as they moved ahead of Borussia Monchengladbach and Wolfsburg.
The 23-year-old did have a release clause of £21.6 million in his contract, with Liverpool among the clubs touted with a move, but that has now changed.
Qualification for the Champions League means that clause is no longer active, and any sides looking to deal with Leverkusen over their top assist-maker (17 this season) will now likely require a much bigger fee.
There is no indication of concrete interest in Brandt this summer, but the bargain nature of his release clause prompted many supporters to call for his signing.
But with Leverkusen now in the driver’s seat, and the midfielder not likely to push for the exit, a move is now less likely.
However, it is worth noting the Bundesliga side’s record sale stands at Heung-min Son’s move to Spurs in 2015, with the reported £22 million received higher than that paid to bring Bernd Leno to Arsenal (£19.3m) last summer.
Though Brandt and Grujic aren’t similar players, they both caught the eye in a roving midfield role this season, and it could be that the solution is already on Liverpool’s books.