Chelsea turn down Lazar Markovic deal for €15m

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Liverpool are on the verge of sealing a €25 million deal for Benfica ace Lazar Markovic - after Chelsea turned down the option to sign him for €10 million less.

The Serbian midfielder looks set to complete his switch to Anfield, and the deal could be confirmed in the coming days. If that does prove to be the case, then the 20-year-old will become Liverpool's fourth signing of the summer already, with the likes of Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Emre Can already on board.

Chelsea clause

One interesting aspect of Liverpool's deal for Markovic is that Chelsea have turned down the chance to sign him for just €15 million. The Blues inserted a clause into his contract as part of his switch to Benfica in 2013 that gave them first option on him if another team moved to activate his €25 million release clause.

According to Sunday Times journalist Duncan Castles, Chelsea would have had to pay €15 million to both Benfica and his investors, who own 50% of his economic rights, which is €10 million less than the fee Liverpool will have to pay. 

- Liverpool hoping to wrap up Markovic deal soon
 Suarez switch to Barcelona could happen soon

Liverpool swoop

Previous reports had suggested that Liverpool hadn't yet activated the release clause which was giving Chelsea time to consider their options - however according to Castles, the Reds have now made their move and Markovic will be their player shortly.

Chelsea's lack of interest appears to have come about because of some mixed scouting reports. It has also been claimed that Chelsea are content with their options in wide areas, so have decided to pass on the youngster.

Luis Suarez cash

Liverpool will be delighted with the news which should mean Markovic is strutting his stuff on Merseyside next term. It's being suggested that the move for former Partizan Belgrade ace marks the start of Liverpool's spree to spend the money they will earn from the imminent sale of Luis Suarez.

The controversial Uruguayan forward is believed to be in talks with the Catalan club over a switch which could be worth up to £80 million - although as yet no fee has been agreed.

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