Ex-Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp was appointed Liverpool manager in October 2015 and made his first signing two months later in the January 2016 transfer window
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the Championship winners are believed to have offered €18million (£15.4m) for Grujic, 26. The midfielder has 17 senior caps for Serbia and is set to be part of their squad for this year’s World Cup after helping Porto win the Primeira Liga title and League Cup last term.
The Reds signed Grujic, then 19, from Red Star Belgrade for £5.1m in January 2016. Klopp was appointed Liverpool boss just two months earlier, replacing Brendan Rodgers. The youngster was immediately sent back on loan to the Serbian club for the rest of the season.
Grujic’s time at Anfield was frustrating. He arrived on Merseyside with a fine CV – helping Serbia win the U20 World Cup in 2015 and Red Star win the Serbian title in 2015-16 – but managed just 16 appearances under Klopp during his five-year spell at Liverpool.
“He’s a good boy, a young boy but plays an important role at the moment at Red Star, who are the best team in Serbia,” said Klopp when Liverpool signed Grujic. “He’s a tall boy, but quick and good at technical things. He can play passes and can dribble.”
Grujic spent time on loan at Championship side Cardiff and Bundesliga outfit Hertha Berlin before joining Porto – initially on loan – in October 2020. That deal was made permanent in July 2021, leaving the former Liverpool star to ponder on his failed Anfield career.
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“I went through preparations with the club, after two years in the Bundesliga, I returned more mature to England,” said Grujic in 2021, as quoted by the Liverpool ECHO. “That’s what they told me in Liverpool. But when Thiago Alcantara came from Bayern (Munich), I estimated that there would not be much space for me. I didn’t want to gamble.”
Grujic went on to say: “I believe that they believe in me. In every conversation, whether it’s Klopp or one of the directors, they always remind me that I am a player of great potential. But when I get into the system I don ‘t get a chance. It confuses me a little.”
Although Grujic didn’t get much of an opportunity at Liverpool, he may get the chance to flourish in the premier league. According to Portuguese outlet Record, Fulham have tabled an offer but Porto want much more than £15.4m for the central midfielder.
It’s claimed Porto are hoping Grujic’s value will sky rocket after the World Cup in Qatar. The Portuguese giants reportedly paid £10.5m for the player when he left Liverpool for good last year, a deal that contains a 10 per cent sell-on clause for the Reds.
Grujic’s existing deal reportedly expires in June 2026, meaning Porto are in no rush to sell him. They’ve also just let Fabio Vieira join Arsenal in a £34m deal, which was finalized on Tuesday evening. The midfielder, 22, has signed a long-term deal at the Emirates.
During his time in Germany, Hertha manager Pal Dardai described Grujic as “by far the best midfielder I’ve seen in my time at the club”. The coach added: “He can play anywhere in midfield. He’s got so much potential and you can see that out on the pitch.”