Liverpool to add Benfica winger-shaped bauble to Christmas tree

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While disgraced striker Luis Suarez spends another summer finding new hobbies, Liverpool are wasting no time in pepping up their attacking options as Benfica’s winger-come-forward Lazar Markovic apparently nears an Anfield switch.

A Serbian international who primarily operates out wide as part of a three-pronged attack behind a main striker for the Portuguese champions, Markovic netted for five times in the league last season.

The 20-year-old is happy playing in the number 10 role or even as the fulcrum of the attack on occasion, which clearly fits into the malleable system Brendan Rodgers prefers to deploy.

A natural dribbler, Markovic has pace in abundance and had been drawing interest from Chelsea before landing at Benfica last summer from Partizan Belgrade.

With Suarez under his FIFA-imposed restraining order until November, Daniel Sturridge is sure to be first-choice for the centre-forward berth, with Rickie Lambert signed as back-up.

However, Rodgers is clearly intent on improving his options in those three slots behind one of his unbanned front men.

Many a media outlet suggests Lambert’s former Southampton teammate Adam Lallana is currently crossing the T’s on a proposed switch after completing World Cup duties with England.

That deal has been mooted as a £25m transfer fee, while the Reds are hoping £20m will be enough to persuade Benfica to cash in on Markovic, barely 12 months after signing him.

According to Ladbrokes, Liverpool’s chances of picking up the Premier League trophy they came within smelling distance of last term have drifted out to 15/2 as a result of Suarez’s latest antics.

But if the Merseyside outfit can seal deals for these types of quality players then this bet will become that much more attractive.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.