Lazar Markovic’s proposed deal with Anderlecht has collapsed at the transfer deadline, just as it appeared the winger was set to depart Liverpool.
Goal can confirm the Reds would have received £2.9 million (€3.3m/$3.9m) for Markovic from the Belgian club, where he had spent the second half of the 2017-2018 season on loan.
Markovic had turned down a move to Greek side PAOK to pave the way for his Anderlecht return, but he was unable to agree to personal terms despite flying to Belgium on a private plane to complete the deal.
Liverpool also inserted a 50 per cent sell on clause into the deal, which played a role in the club’s decision with the sale.
The Reds believed regular European football, a heavily scouted league, a player with a point to prove and a desire to get back to the Serbian National Team is the best way for Markovic to rebuild his career and, with the sell on clause, see Liverpool recoup more of the outlay they spent on bringing him in.
Now it appears Liverpool will not see much of a return, if any, on the player who they signed for £20m from Benfica in 2014, as his contract expires at the end of the 2018-19 season.
Liverpool brought in Markovic that summer after he netted seven times as a 20-year-old in his only season with the Portuguese club.
However, Markovic struggled upon arriving at Anfield, managing just a pair of goals in the 2014-15 season, as he was part of the group of players who were unable to replace the void left behind by Luis Suarez’s departure to Barcelona in the summer.
It proved Markovic’s only season at Anfield, as he never could find his way into Jurgen Klopp’s plans after he replaced Brendan Rodgers in the early 2015-16 season.
Instead, the winger would spend parts of multiple seasons out on loan.
Arguably the most successful of those stints came at Hull City, where he scored a pair of goals in 12 Premier League games in the second half of the 2016-17 season.
However, Hull City were ultimately relegated to the Championship and Markovic returned to Liverpool purgatory.
Markovic also spent time at Fenerbahce and Sporting before his January 2018 loan to Anderlecht, where he scored once in eight appearances for the club.
He has scored a total of three goals in 34 appearances, all coming in the 2014-15 season and, despite remaining, is unlikely to ever build upon those totals with the club.