Liverpool new boy Marko Grujic says he almost pulled out of a move to Merseyside due to his fear of undergoing an MRI scan during his medical. The Serbia Under-21 international has joined the Reds on a five-year deal but will return to former club Red Star Belgrade on loan for the remainder of the season.
The 19-year-old becomes the first signing made by manager Jurgen Klopp since the departure of former boss Brendan Rodgers. He will occupy the number eight shirt which was worn by legendary ex-captain Steven Gerrard.
However, speaking following the conclusion of his move to Liverpool, the youngster has revealed the deal almost wasn't completed due to a complication with his medical. All players must pass an examination by club staff before signing a deal and Grujic said he initially refused to undergo an MRI scan due to being claustrophobic.
"I am very claustrophobic, so it was very scary for me to lie for one hour in the dark in the MRI scanner," he told the Liverpool Echo. "When I heard that the MRI scan was compulsory, I was very close to saying that I didn't want to do it! I was really afraid, I couldn't stay inside it for one minute!
"I called the doctor and raised a bit of panic, so they were persuading me for around 20 minutes before I finally accepted to go inside it again. Finally, I bit the bullet and I got on with it. They made some special conditions for me."
Though Grujic will not be part of the Liverpool first team squad this term, Klopp has wasted little time in giving directions to the player who will follow a strict regime before returning to Anfield in the summer. "It's a big deal," he added. "I've spent two to three days in the Liverpool camp at Anfield and in the city itself. Everything there left a really great impression on me.
"I also got some responsibilities for the next part of the season. They gave me a programme for the upcoming period which I will have to adhere to. He (Klopp) told me that it was very important for me to stay focused during the upcoming six months. That this is only the first step in my career and that I shouldn't relax too much."