Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists Lazar Markovic still has a future at Anfield even though the winger is set to join Turkish side Fenerbahce on a season-long loan deal. The former Benfica winger follows in the footsteps of Mario Balotelli after the Merseysiders announced the Italian striker's loan move to AC Milan earlier this week.
Markovic joined the Merseysiders last summer from Benfica for around £20m ($30.8m) as part of a summer overhaul conducted by Brendan Rodgers following the departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona. But the 21-year-old struggled to make the impact expected in the English football, making just 11 Premier League appearances.
Having being overshadowed by the introduction of Jordon Ibe to the first-team during the current campaign, Rodgers has decided to send him on loan to the Turkish side to have more playing time, according to a BBC Sport report. The Serbian would become the fourth of the nine players Rodgers signed last summer to leave the club after Balotelli, Rickie Lambert and Javier Manquillo.
But asked whether the winger still has a future at Anfield, ahead of the Premier League game against West Ham, Rodgers said: "Yes he does." Meanwhile, Rodgers has also defended the decision to send Balotelli back to his former side after dropping him from his first-team plans.
"It's a good move for Mario," he said. "He goes to play and gets a season of playing football in his homeland and that will be good for him."
The manager also said that he does not expect to make more signings before the end of the transfer window after having already signed seven players in Christian Benteke, Roberto Firmino, Joe Gomez, Danny Ings, James Milner, Adam Bogdan and Nathaniel Clyne.
"You won't need to be set up around here," he told journalists. "You can go elsewhere. We had a lot of our signings early in the season, so I'm sure we'll be quiet."