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Ownership complications in Markovic deal

ESPN staff
July 16, 2014
Markovic targets Premier League title

Liverpool were reportedly forced to deal with third party ownership issues of when completing the signing of Lazar Markovic from Benfica for £20 million.

Markovic joined the club on Tuesday, but the Daily Telegraph claims that Liverpool had to "complex discussions with Benfica" when attempting complete the transfer.

Lazar Markovic met Chelsea officials in 2013 © Getty Images

The claim that Markovic was only partly owned by Benfica when he signed from Partizan Belgrade last summer might explain why a deal that appeared virtually done more than a week ago ahs only just been sealed. Superagent Pini Zahavi reportedly had connections with a players' investment fund which half-owned Markovic.

Liverpool now have full ownership of Markovic as such third party ownership is banned in the Premier League following the Carlos Tevez affair at West Ham in 2007.

The Telegraph also suggests that Chelsea were going to make a move for Markovic while Liverpool were locked in negotiations with Benfica.

Chelsea reportedly had an option to sign Markovic for £12m and The Telegraph suggests they were going to make a move while Liverpool were locked in discussions with Benfica.

Markovic spent time in London in 2013 meeting Chelsea officials and toured Stamford Bridge ahead of a proposed transfer. It was reported twice that Chelsea would complete a deal but the player denied any contract or pre-contract was agreed.

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