Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp asked recent signing Marko Grujic to decline the chance to rejoin Red Star Belgrade on a six-month loan deal because he wanted him to go straight into first-team duties.
The young midfielder, however, rejected the suggestion as he intends on fulfilling his dream of winning the league title with his hometown club in Serbia.
Klopp was hoping to utilise to 19-year-old immediately following the £5.1million deal to try and ease the effects of an ongoing injury crisis.
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Liverpool are currently without 11 first-team players while there are also rumours that Simon Mignolet is about to be added to that list. The crisis saw Klopp put out an exceptionally inexperienced side against Exeter City in the FA Cup third round last week and barely escaped St James' Park with a 2-2 draw.
Now Grujic himself has revealed that Klopp was keen to keep him on Merseyside and promised him first-team opportunities.
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Straight into the first-team
"One of the first questions I got was why wouldn't I come to Liverpool straight away, because they have a lot of problems with injuries?" Grujic told the Liverpool Echo.
"Klopp himself told me that he needed me right then and there but I just couldn't give up on my dream of winning a title with Red Star.
"This has been my dream ever since I started playing football. Now that I'm so close to fulfilling that dream I wasn't going to give that up lightly.
"We have a great advantage over the rivals and I'd really like to finish what I have started. We want to continue this winning streak and write history with Red Star.
"Their desire was for me to join LFC in January, but they understood what it's like to win a title with your mother club.
"After winning the trophy with Red Star, I will be very satisfied and self-confident when joining LFC for the preseason."
Guaranteed title win
Grujic should not have to worry about whether or not Red Star will win the title this season. They are currently dominating the SuperLig and are leading it by a mammoth 25 points with just eight games to play.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are struggling to keep pace with the Premier League's top four clubs and, most notably, have been with their captain Jordan Henderson for much of the campaign. Grujic, although inexperienced, would have at least bolstered the numbers until Henderson's return.
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