Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic is a summer loan target for Dinamo Zagreb, the Croatian champions have confirmed. The 20-year-old has endured a nightmare first season at Anfield since switching from Red Star Belgrade, with injury restricting him to just five appearances across all competitions.
Grujic has been out since November with a hamstring problem but returned last week for the Reds' Under-23 side in their 5-1 thrashing of Reading. The Serbia international played an hour for the reserves but manager Jurgen Klopp has yet to give any indication whether he will feature before the end of the season
Such have been Grujic's fitness issues he was one of only a handful of players not to travel to La Manga for Liverpool's mid-season warm weather training camp. Upon returning from Spain the club have won both of their Premier League games, against Arsenal and Burnley, enhancing their bid to finish in the Champions League spots.
With Liverpool's title bid having all-but ended following a harrowing start to 2017, Klopp has already begun looking ahead to the summer transfer window; admitting the club need between two and six new additions. And their rivals appear to have also begun targeting areas of the club's squad.
Speaking to Serbian publication Blic, former Dinamo sporting director and current adviser Zdravko Mamic revealed his interest in a short-term move for Grujic, after failing in an approach for Andrija Zivkovic "I wanted to bring Andrija Zivkovic in from Benfica for €5m, but I failed," he said. "Now I want to get Marko Grujic from Liverpool on loan."
Prior to encountering hamstring problems, Grujic played three times in the EFL Cup – including two starts – and twice in the Premier League, where he was also an unused substitute on six further occasions. Klopp's decision to overlook the youngster was in part down to his physicality, which Grujic attempted to work on before running into fitness troubles.
"When I came from the Serbian league, I didn't really do a lot of defensive things," Grujic told the Liverpool Echo. "I know that. The coach here wants me to do more in defence. He has said that. I am trying to work on those kind of things, and adapting to those demands.
"Everyone knows that the Premier League is of the highest standard. It's very fast, very physical, especially for young players. The key thing is that I continue to work in the gym, to work on the physical side of my game. I have been focusing on that with our coaching staff at Melwood. I am always in the gym before training, doing some special exercises. I know how important that is."