Liverpool's hopes of continuing their summer spending spree have been knocked as Roma look set to battle them for the signature of Lazar Markovic, according to TalkSPORT.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has already completed the signings of Emre Can and Southampton duo Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana and reports suggested Markovic could also be on his way to Merseyside.
The Uruguayan is being heavily linked with a move to Barcelona, and Rodgers knows he'll need to spend to replace last season's PFA Player of the year.
However, his hopes of adding the Serbian winger to his squad have been dashed by the news Roma are also keen on the Benfica man.
Chelsea exit, but Roma fill the void
Last month there were reports that Chelsea were interested in Markovic, but it could now be Roma making things difficult for Liverpool.
Sources in Italy claim the Roma, who finished second in Serie A last season, have investigated the possibility of bringing in the 20-year-old Serbian.
Benfica are understandably reluctant to let go of one of their star man, but an offer of £25million could be enough to convince them to do business.
That price-tag may have been a stumbling block but Roma could have money to spend should they allow defender Mehdi Benatia to leave for Manchester City.
Reds mean business
Liverpool are unlikely to be put off by the asking price having proven they're willing to splash the cash in their attempts to improve upon last year's second-placed finish, while the potential departure of Luis Suarez would also boost their budget.
With Champions League football returning to Anfield Rodgers has already spent in the region of £40million, and there's talk of further spending, with Barcelona star Alexis Sanchez joining Markovic on their shopping list.
Either signing would excite Liverpool fans and add to an already impressive plethora of attacking talent.
Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho often occupied the wide positions in Rodgers team, but they'd be forced to up their game should Markovic or Sanchez arrive.
More about Markovic
Benfica man Markovic only moved to Portugal last summer having come through the ranks at Partizan Belgrade, but following his impressive form in his maiden Primeira Liga season he could be on the move again.
During his first season in Lisbon, the 20-year-old was an almost ever present both in the league and in Europe as Benfica claimed an impressive treble.
However, the seasons end was tinted by personal disappointment for Markovic as he missed the Europa League final through suspension. During the final minutes of Benfica's semi-final second leg clash with Juventus Markovic received a red card for an incident with Juve striker Mirko Vucinic despite having already been substituted.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.