Benfica are considering a surprise attempt to re-sign Lazar Markovic on loan next season, following his disappointing debut campaign at Liverpool.
The Serbian midfielder arrived at Anfield in a £20 million deal last summer with a burgeoning reputation as an up-and-coming star of the future, but failed to find his best form for the majority of the 2014/15 campaign.
Markovic appeared overawed by the physical demands of the Premier League, contributing an underwhelming three goals in 34 appearances in all competitions for Brendan Rodgers's side.
And according to the Daily Mirror, the 21-year-old could now make a swift departure from Merseyside as his former employers are ready to welcome the player back to Estadio da Luz.
The Reds have little chance of recouping the eye-watering fee they previously paid for Markovic's services though, especially as Benfica are only prepared to take the winger back on a temporary deal.
It's unlikely that Liverpool will accept those terms, especially after taking into account the fact that Markovic's performances improved marginally in the second half of the season.
Rodgers remains hopeful that he'll go on to fulfil the potential that prompted him to pay so much money for the wide-man, but it would be fair to say that he still has a long way to go before proving his doubters wrong.
It will be interesting to see if Benfica came back with a bid, how much money Liverpool would be prepared to sell Markovic for. Realistically they'll have to accept a loss on the investment made in him just 11 months ago.
The Liverpool Echo believes there is no chance of a return to Lisbon with the Primeira Liga giants, as the club has no plans to let the player leave in the forthcoming transfer window, which means Markovic will probably be part of the Northern Irishman's first-team squad again next season.
Liverpool fans: How do you think Lazar Markovic's first season at Anfield went? Does he have what it takes to be a success in the Premier League? Share your thoughts in the comment box below...
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