Marko Grujic will herald Liverpool’s new era on the field while he wears a number, which symbolizes a previous time, on the back of his jersey.
Grujic has agreed to join Liverpool from Red Star Belgrade in a transfer worth £5 million ($7.5 million), The Mail’s Simon Jones and The Liverpool Echo’s James Pearce reported Monday. Grujic is expected to fly to England this week for a physical exam. He’ll reportedly join Liverpool officially next month, but the Reds will loan him back to Red Star for the rest of the season.
Red Star sporting director Zvezdan Terzic told Serbian television station RTS that Grujic will wear Liverpool’s No. 8 jersey, which previously belonged to former captain Steven Gerrerd.
“We will, in the next three days, sign a contract with Liverpool,” Terzic told RTS, according to ESPN. “Marko Grujic will sign a five-year contract with Liverpool … He’ll get No. 8 on the back.”
Inter Milan and Stuttgart were foremost among Grujic’s other suitors, but the influence of Jurgen Klopp and his Serbian assistant manager, Zeljko Buvac, appears to have swung the midfielder toward Liverpool.
Grujic, 19, is set to become Jurgen Klopp’s first signing as Liverpool manager.
Grujic’s pedigree as an U-20 FIFA World Cup winner and one of Eastern Europe’s top prospects suggests he has enough talent to succeed at Anfield. However, either upholding or enhancing Gerrard’s legacy will take years, perhaps decades, for Grujic to achieve.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@LFCBoston