Adem Ljajic endured a difficult first season at Roma after joining from Fiorentina last summer to replace the outgoing Erik Lamela.
He started off well enough in Giallorosso with three goals in his first four appearances, but gradually lost form and saw his first team opportunities dwindle.
The Serbian’s deteriorating situation came to a head when he failed to close down his man in the build-up to Jose Callejon’s decisive strike in Roma’s 1-0 loss to Napoli in early March.
Head coach Rudi Garcia was reportedly furious with Ljajic and granted him just 26 minutes of playing time over the next six games - triggering reports of a summer sale to Liverpool.
Garcia later showed confidence in the 22-year-old by saying he could ‘become as good as Eden Hazard’, but the Italian press has continued to suggest he could be Merseyside-bound.
Ljajic once nearly signed for Manchester United. His signature as a teenager was even announced by the club, before they pulled the plug. He has since rebuilt his career in Serie A, outstanding last season at Fiorentina, but this season it has not been nearly as successful.
And according to Leggo, Ljajic is unhappy with his role as a substitute at Roma. The Rome-based newspaper has reported that the versatile forward passed on his thoughts to the club through his agent in a concise phrase.
‘I want guarantees or I’d prefer to leave,’ the statement reads.
It’s the type of ultimatum that should serve as a warning to any suitors.
A winning team is a fragile ecosystem, and with the Reds set to face new challenges next season, Brendan Rodgers can ill afford to have a player rocking to the boat.
If Ljajic were brought in, he would be competing with established figures Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling for minutes. What’s to say he wouldn’t become disillusioned sitting on the bench at Anfield behind the trio as well?
Leggo go on to claim that both the Roma hierarchy and Garcia are keen to hold on to Ljajic despite his demands - thinking he could develop into a star if shown the right faith.
If the Serbian is intent on forcing through a move, however, it may be in Liverpool’s best interest to steer clear, tempting as it would be to sign the youngster.
Ljajic is a unquestionably a talented player with loads of potential, but would have no guarantees at Anfield, where a united dressing room will be key to battling on four fronts next term.