It’s easy to forget that Lazar Marković is a Liverpool player, as he hasn’t made a competitive appearance for the Reds since 2 May 2015. Since then, he’s been loaned out to Fenerbahçe, Sporting CP, Hull, and Anderlecht with varying degrees of success, but hasn’t convinced any of his temporary employers to make the move permanent. This year, he’s got one appearance for the reserve team. Otherwise, he’s been watching from the stands; Jürgen Klopp has made it clear that the Serb is well outside his plans and won’t have his contract renewed when it runs out this summer.
Cue Pantaleo Corvino. Marković ticks every box for a Fiorentina revival special: he’s a former Partizan star, he’s from the Crow’s favored region of the Balkans, he’s still just 24 years old, he’s a Fali Ramadani client, he was once considered one of the most promising talents in the world, and he’d possibly be available on a free. According to this report, Klopp is so eager to see the winger gone from Anfield that he’d waive any transfer fee, although that does seem perhaps a bit optimistic.
This isn’t the first time the Viola have been linked with Marković, either: he was thought to be a target two years ago, but the move obviously never came to fruition. This time around, though, it seems like a pretty reasonable gamble on the part of the Fiorentina brass, as it’d be a cheap/free move for a player who’d probably be thrilled to be in Florence (or anywhere that’s not Scouse territory). Genoa are also supposedly interested, but you’d have to think that the Tuscans would have an advantage as the bigger team.
On the other hand, pinning your hopes for coherent attacking football on a dude who hasn’t played 8 competitive matches in the past year. The cynic would say that he’s another flail à la Marko Pjaca or Kevin Mirallas, a cut-rate player who’s only a target because he’s cheap, and there may well be something to that. However, if he’s available for cheap or free, it may behoove the Viola to at least kick the tires on him.
There are other concerns, too. A Marković arrival could well result in the departure of another Fiorentina winger or too. Word has already leaked that the club won’t pay the €20 million for the Croatian at year’s end, and if there’s any truth to some disciplinary issues, his loan could be terminated early. Valentin Eysseric could well be sold in that case as well, and Riccardo Sottil would almost certainly leave on loan to get some playing time.
We’ve still got more than a month until the winter mercato opens, so we haven’t yet hit the truly silly season, but this one could be worth keeping an eye on. A cheap player who’s got talent to be reclaimed, Ramadani ties, and has been linked previously could fit the bill, yeah, but let’s all hold off on buying a Fiorentina shirt with Marković emblazoned across the back.