Liverpool youngster Marko Grujic was reportedly being lined up by Chelsea as a potential signing before the uncertainty that shrouded the club after Jose Mourinho’s sacking last December scuppered their interest.
The Reds swooped in to sign the 20-year-old from Red Star Belgrade for an estimated £5.1m fee during the January transfer window, with the Metro reporting that Jurgen Klopp pushed through the deal by making a personal phone call to the Serbian.
Chelsea, however, were in the driving seat for the 20-year-old’s signature before his move earlier this year as, according to reports, the Blues had conducted extensive scouting missions on his progress in Serbia.
Club scouts had then recommended that they sign Grujic but plans to pursue Grujic fell through following the sacking of then-Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.
Klopp himself had just joined the Reds and after listening to the feedback from his new recruitment team, who had conducted extensive scouting missions themselves, gave the go-ahead on the signing.
Grujic was a prominent member on Liverpool’s pre-season tour and has managed to make two senior appearances so far this season, with his last coming on Tuesday in the 2-1 EFL Cup win over Spurs at Anfield.
The Serbia international was part of a youthful line-up fielded by Klopp but it was two goals from Daniel Sturridge that sent the Merseyside club into the last eight of the League cup.
The former Borussia Dortmund manager praised the England international’s performance and told reporters after the match that he was ‘never in doubt’ about the striker’s ability.