Liverpool ready to launch move for Lazar Markovic

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Liverpool are ready to re-focus their transfer sights on Lazar Markovic, with Brendan Rodgers reportedly concerned that Benfica could deal the talented Serbian - who is also wanted by Chelsea - elsewhere as negotiations for Adam Lallana continue to drag on.

This information all comes courtesy of The Daily Mirror, who further suggest that the Reds are ready to pull out of the race to sign Lallana with Southampton looking for just too high a fee to part with their inspirational captain.

Liverpool's pursuit of Lallana has been rumbling on for several weeks now, with no sign of the deal finally coming to pass.

Indeed, a £25 million offer for the England international - whose saw teammate Rickie Lambert complete a switch to Anfield earlier this week - is believed to be on the table, but the Saints have made it abundantly clear that they are not in a position where they have to sell all of their top stars.

A stellar performance during this summer's World Cup could indeed raise Lallana's asking price even higher, particularly given that Southampton owe a fairly significant portion of any future fee received for the talented 26-year-old to South coast rivals Bournemouth.

Markovic, meanwhile, enjoyed a relatively impressive 2013/14 campaign, with the 20-year-old - who already has 12 senior international caps to his name but sadly won't take part in this summer's World Cup in Brazil - demonstrating experience and nous beyond his tender years during what was an eventful season for Benfica.

Jorge Jesus' men sparked wild celebrations in Lisbon after successfully completing a domestic double, yet saw their European campaign end on another extremely sour note after a penalty-shootout defeat to La Liga outfit Sevilla saw them lose out in their second consecutive Europa League final.

Liverpool may well face competition from Premier League rivals Chelsea for the signing of Markovic, however, with the Blues - who are believed to be on the verge of making a striking addition of their own in Spanish international Diego Costa - credited with an interest in the player in recent weeks.

Jose Mourinho is not exactly short of exciting and versatile attacking players at Stamford Bridge just at the moment, but with reports hinting that Benfica may have dropped their asking price for Markovic from £30 million to a slightly more reasonable £25 million, it could be that they are convinced to seriously rival Liverpool for his signature this summer.

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