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Transfer Rater: Alonso to Barca, Vardy to Chelsea

 By Mike Whalley

Liverpool close in on Markovic, Origi

Liverpool are hoping to secure a deal to sign Benfica winger Lazar Markovic within the next week.

- Lovren: My head is at Liverpool
- Stoichkov warns Suarez over Barca move

Manager Brendan Rodgers is looking to add the Serbia international to his squad ahead of their return to the Champions League this coming season, sources have told ESPN FC.

Reports have suggested that the Reds will pay around 20 million pounds for the 20-year-old, who moved to Portugal from Partizan Belgrade in June 2013.

Markovic, who has played 12 times for his country, signed a five-year contract when he joined Benfica, and helped them to last season's Europa League final, although he missed the defeat against Sevilla in Turin because of suspension.

The Reds are also closing in on the signing of Belgium international forward Divock Origi from French Ligue 1 club Lille, for an initial fee of six million pounds, which could rise to 9.5 million pounds with add-ons. Origi would be loaned back to Lille for the season as part of the deal.

The 19-year-old played in all five of his country's matches at the World Cup, where they reached the quarterfinals before going out to Argentina on Saturday.

He scored his first international goal at the tournament in Brazil, in the 1-0 Group H victory over Russia on June 22.

Origi comes from a footballing family, as his father Mike was a Kenya international striker who played in Belgium for Genk.

Liverpool have completed three signings so far this summer, bringing in midfielder Emre Can from Bayer Leverkusen as well as two England internationals from Southampton -- striker Rickie Lambert and midfielder Adam Lallana.

Rodgers is still looking to strengthen in defence, but the Reds have so far been unable to agree a fee with Southampton for Croatia centre-back Dejan Lovren or with Sevilla for left-back Alberto Moreno.

Hopes of a deal to bring Alexis Sanchez in from Barcelona are likely to be dashed, as the Chile forward appears reluctant to move to Anfield. However, the sale of Luis Suarez to Barca -- for a fee believed to be more than 70 million pounds -- is expected to be concluded this week.


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