Marko Grujic will return to Liverpool in July with question marks over his future at the club, with the midfielder admitting “everything is still open” among his options.
The Serbian has just returned to limited training at Hertha Berlin, with Bundesliga sides permitted to return to non-contact work while operating within social-distancing measures.
Like fellow loanee Taiwo Awoniyi, Grujic has reflected on the situation by simply saying “it feels good to have a ball at my feet again.”
It is a step in the right direction with the German top flight expected to resume at the start of May, with Grujic’s deal with Hertha running to the end of June, ensuring there is no red tape regarding a stay to the conclusion.
And speaking to The Athletic‘s James Pearce, Grujic insisted “everything is still open,” with three possible options: staying at Liverpool; heading out on another loan; or leaving on a permanent basis.
“I hope [there will be talks] in the next few months,” he said.
“I’m sure we will sit down and discuss what is best for the club and what is best for me.
“I’m not a youngster any more. At the age of 24 [on Monday], I’m at the stage when I need to be making important steps in my career.
“I need to think and I need to be clever about what happens next. Is the best thing to stay in Liverpool and wait for a chance or is it time to have another loan or move to another club?
“At the moment, I don’t know the answer. Everything is still open.”
Given Grujic has spent the last two-and-a-half seasons out on loan, this should be a make-or-break summer for the midfielder.
There could be an opening at Liverpool with the departure of Adam Lallana, though Curtis Jones is earmarked for a more prominent role upon the veteran’s exit—but a surprise cannot be ruled out at this stage.
Grujic has the blend of physicality and dynamism that would suit Klopp’s system, and he has gained crucial experience over two seasons in the Bundesliga with Hertha.
But perhaps the most likely option would be a long-term stay in Germany, with Grujic complimentary of the Bundesliga and how it has allowed him to develop as a young player.
A lot, in that sense, may depend on the stability under new Hertha manager Bruno Labbadia.
It has been mooted that Liverpool could sell Grujic for between £15 million and £25 million, and if the latter is offered the Reds may well opt to part ways on a player they paid £5.1 million for back in 2016.