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Markovic signs for Liverpool and targets title

ESPN staff
July 15, 2014
Liverpool had been tracking Lazar Markovic for several months © Getty Images

Liverpool have completed the signing of winger Lazar Markovic from Benfica for £20 million.

The 20-year-old becomes Liverpool's fourth signing of the summer and has immediately targeted the Premier League title after penning a long-term contract with the club

"I won the title at Partizan [Belgrade] and Benfica. Now I want to win the title with Liverpool," Markovic told Liverpool's official website after completing a medical. "I am very happy that I have joined such a great club.

"I hope that I will fulfil the expectations of the supporters, coaches, players and all connected to the club. I have seen what the players are like, I have seen what the supporters are like, and I cannot wait to start playing here."

Markovic, a Serbia international, helped Benfica win the Portuguese domestic treble last season, and was also a key figure in their run to the Europa League final.

However, Markovic missed the final itself - which ended in defeat against Sevilla in Turin - because of suspension.

Brendan Rodgers insists Liverpool have acquired a player of proven European quality as they get set for their Champions League return next season after a five-year absence.

"This is an exciting signing for us and one that improves our squad, in terms of attacking options, for the coming season," Rodgers told Liverpool's website.

"He was hugely impressive for Benfica last season and has proved he has the ability to produce the goods in European competition as well, which will be important for us.

"Lazar is flexible to play a number of positions, but I like the way he attacks games and is always positive and looking to make something happen. He will fit in with the way we play at Liverpool.

"Getting him at such a young age is also very pleasing for us, because we will be able to work with him to develop his talent within our group and improve him even further.

"He is the sort of character who is hungry to get better and progress; this is what we look for in players."

Liverpool have been tracking the winger for several months, with manager Rodgers seeking extra attacking options. Rodgers is also looking to help cover the loss of Luis Suarez, who is set for a move to Barcelona.

Markovic confirmed the move was imminent on Sunday, posting a message to Benfica fans on his official Facebook account which read: "Thank you for everything and goodbye!"

He later posted a photograph of an interview he was recording with Liverpool's television channel, LFC TV, to be aired once the deal was completed.

Markovic joins Liverpool a year after moving to Benfica from his first club Partizan Belgrade on a five-year deal.

The Portuguese champions entered talks with Liverpool after the Premier League club agreed to meet the release clause in the player's contract.

Markovic's signing follows the summer arrivals at Anfield of Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana from Southampton, and Germany under-21 midfielder Emre Can from Bayer Leverkusen.

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