Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur have been dealt a blow in their respective races to sign two of Serbia’s most promising young talents.
Partizan Belgrade’s director of sport, Ljubisa Tumakovic, sent out a clear warning to the teams at Anfield and White Hart Lane when he insisted the Serbian club would not be letting their best young talent go as soon as the likes of Andre Villas-Boas and Brendan Rodgers come sniffing around.
“As we do not have any financial problems, we do not need to sell our star players in the January transfer window,” he quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
"There aren't many chances that one of our young talents will leave Belgrade in the near future.
"When myself, Vladimir Vermezovic and Momcilo Vuktic came to the Partizan board in May, we made it quite clear: we will not sell our young talents as soon as they play some good games.
“That is our policy and we stand by it. Our talents are not for sale.”
According to the report, Liverpool are interested in signing 18-year-old forward Lazar Markovic, while Spurs are rivalling Serie A side Lazio for the signing of 17-year-old midfielder Nikola Ninkovic.
Liverpool and Tottenham hired new managers this summer, both of whom have shown a willingness to give young talent a chance to prove themselves in the respective first teams.
Villas-Boas has been giving more playing time to centre-half Steven Caulker and gave promising winger Andros Townsend his first Premier League appearance against Reading a few weeks ago.
Meanwhile, Rodgers has integrated the likes of Raheem Sterling, Andre Wisdom and Suso in the Liverpool starting XI, preferring them to more established stars.
It now appears both managers will have to look elsewhere for now if they want to add to the young talent at their clubs.