Highly-rated midfielder: I could have joined Liverpool this month

Marko Grujic has revealed that he had to battle to convince Jurgen Klopp to approve his loan move back to Red Star Belgrade after signing for Liverpool.

The 19-year-old midfielder became the first arrival of the German’s reign at Anfield when he sealed his £5.1m switch to Anfield last week.

But, as part of the deal settled with the Serbian club, Grujic has returned to Eastern Europe for the remainder of the season, despite some claims that the Merseysiders were desperate to have him on board for the rest of 2015/16.

The decision to allow the teenager to head back to Red Star has been criticised by some, with Klopp currently without 13 first-team players, which contributed to him fielding an XI in the 2-2 FA Cup draw at Exeter on Friday that was largely made up of youth and reserve players.

Speaking to Red Star’s official TV channel, Grujic claimed that his new side wanted him at the club now, but he could not commit as he has a strong desire to win the league title with his current club:

“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?

“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.”

The Belgrade giants are currently odds on to lift the Serbian title due to their 25-point buffer at the summit to the table.