SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - Tuesday, August 25, 2020: Liverpool's substitute Marko Grujic during a preseason friendly match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by Propaganda)

Liverpool field enquiries for Marko Grujic as big-money price tag is set

Liverpool are looking to move Marko Grujic on permanently this summer, and have already received interest from two of his previous loan clubs in a big-money deal.

Grujic joined the Reds as Jurgen Klopp‘s first signing in 2016, but five-and-a-half years on from his £5.1 million move from Red Star Belgrade, he has played only 16 times.

Instead, he has taken in loan spells with Red Star, Cardiff, Hertha Berlin and most recently Porto, and now 25 he has developed into an excellent midfielder who carved out a regular role in the Portuguese top flight.

But despite a brief flirtation with Jurgen Klopp‘s first-team squad last year, the ship appears to have sailed for Grujic at Liverpool, and a sale is likely this summer.

According to the Liverpool Echo, the Reds are “ready to cash in” on their No. 16, who is “set to spark a bidding war.”

Liverpool are said to value Grujic at £20 million, and both Porto and Hertha have already been in contact with a view to negotiating a permanent deal.

2ECF3YJ Dragao Stadium, Porto, Portugal. 13th Feb, 2021. Portuguese Championship Football, FC Porto versus Boa Vista; Marko Grujic of FC Porto chases the through ball Credit: Action Plus Sports/Alamy Live News

Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manha claim that the “alarm has sounded” at Porto due to wider interest in the Serbian, and they could look to sell Sergio Oliveira to fund a move.

In Germany, the Berliner Kurier have speculated that Grujic could now return to Hertha owing to their long-term relationship with the player, boosted by the arrival of sporting director Dirk Dufner.

Dufner previously worked as a player consultant for ROOF, an agency owned by the Arena11 Sports Group, who count Grujic among their clients, along with Sadio Mane, Naby Keita, Taiwo Awoniyi and Dejan Lovren.

Porto and Hertha are unlikely to be the only clubs pursuing Grujic, though, with Werder Bremen, Eintracht Frankfurt, Borussia Monchengladbach, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Atalanta, Southampton and West Ham all linked last summer.

LINCOLN, ENGLAND - Thursday, September 24, 2020: Liverpool's Curtis Jones celebrates scoring the fourth goal, his second, to make the score 4-0 with team-mate Marko Grujic (L) during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Lincoln City FC and Liverpool FC at Sincil Bank. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Southampton were described as “very keen,” while Gladbach were credited with having made a bid, and it is not unlikely that clubs will revive their interest a year on.

Villa’s interest in Saints midfielder James Ward-Prowse could both rule them out and open up a space for Grujic at St Mary’s, though the 25-year-old is not of the same profile as the England international.

Back in October, The Athletic’s James Pearce claimed that Grujic “hadn’t given up hope” of eventually making it at Liverpool.

But if these reports are to be believed, he could instead be sold to fund new signings.