Liverpool seal deal for £5 million Marko Grujić with medical expected later this week

Marko Grujić has agreed to sign a five-year deal with Liverpool ahead of completing a £5 million transfer from Red Star Belgrade.

The highly-rated 19-year-old midfielder is held in high-esteem by Jürgen Klopp, who stepped in to speak with the Serbian personally as he looks set to make Grujić his first signing as Reds boss.

The Serbia U21 international is expected to fly into Merseyside later this week to complete a medical, before returning to Serbia to see out the rest of the season with table-topping Red Star - who are unbeaten in the league with 20 wins from 22 games.

Grujić has been an integral part of that success and although they are reluctant to see such a blossoming talent leave, it is understood that their crippling debts have forced them into doing a deal - after they were banned from featuring in the UEFA Champions League in 2014-15 for being "in breach of a number of provisions of the Uefa Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations."

Reds set to welcome highly-regarded young Serbian as Klopp's first signing

The teenager's name has been mentioned more and more frequently since Klopp came in as boss in early October and he is believed to be one of the crucial factors in persuading Grujić to choose Anfield over any other potential suitors.

Inter Milan had also held interest in the Red Star youngster, whilst Belgian outfit Anderlecht had also been monitoring his progress - but Klopp spoke to Grujić himself to lay out his plans and managed to convince the player to choose England as his next destination.

The German manager's assistant, Željko Buvač, is also said to have played an important part behind the scenes in securing the deal - with Grujić's countryman having excellent connections in Serbian football.

Midfielder's rapid rise in short time at Red Star demonstrates his potential

Grujić only made his first-team debut at Red Star in May 2013, at the age of 17, but has steadily risen through the ranks since then - becoming recognised as the stand-out player in this season's extraordinary title charge.

A product of the club's youth academy, Grujić has quickly become a fan favourite - helping himself to five goals and eight assists so far this season. 

Standing at 6ft 3ins, he has been likened to compatriot and Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matić and is capable of playing either as a defensive midfielder or as an attacking option. 

Grujić was also an important part of the Serbia U20 squad that won the FIFA U20 World Cup in New Zealand back in June and will set the Reds back £5 million. 

The deal - negotiated by chief executive Ian Ayre in Belgrade earlier this week - also includes a 10% sell-on clause, though they will make back roughly £730,000 for allowing him to remain at Red Star on loan for the remainder of the current campaign after he puts pen-to-paper on a contract that will keep him on Merseyside until 2020.

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