Liverpool ahead of Chelsea in race for £30m star - lessons learnt from Willian and Salah?

Willian

Liverpool have reportedly leapfrogged Chelsea in the race to sign Benfica star Lazar Markovic - with a £30m bid allegedly in the pipeline.

Brendan Rodgers' men finished the season in second place despite leading the title race for some time, whilst Chelsea ended Jose Mourinho's first season back at Stamford Bridge in third place and without a trophy. Whilst both sides ended the season on a slightly disappointing note, their fans can look forward to Champions League football once again next season - as well as a summer of transfer speculation.

The two sides are expected to spend heavily in order to improve their teams and win the Premier League, and given that they have similar needs heading into the transfer window, some players are being linked to both clubs - sparking intense transfer battles between Rodgers and Mourinho, who worked together at Stamford Bridge.

The latest player attracting interest from both sides if Benfica's Serbian forward Lazar Markovic. The 20-year-old, who is renowned for his pace, has enjoyed a superb season in Portugal and has unsurprisingly attracted interest from bigger clubs around Europe.

Today's speculation suggests that Liverpool have moved ahead of the Blues in the race to sign the former Partizan Belgrade man, with a £30m offer on the table to Benfica.

Rodgers has missed out on a number of attacking players in recent times, including Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Yevhen Konoplyanka, but if he lands Markovic it will put an end to the humiliation the club suffered when targeting Willian and Mohamed Salah.

The two attacking midfield players looked destined to sign for the Reds before Mourinho stole in to take them both to Stamford Bridge, leaving Rodgers embarrassed. By signing Markovic for £30m, he can prove to the Blues that Liverpool will contend with Chelsea for the biggest signings - and by getting the deal done quickly, they can show that they've learnt from the Willian and Salah heartbreaks.

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