Liverpool have continued their impressive record of squeezing big profit from selling young players, by agreeing deals to offload two fringe players for £17million
Marko Grujic, 25, has been sold to Porto, while 23-year-old forward Taiwo Awoniyi is set to join Union Berlin.
The Reds duo returned for the club’s pre-season, and have been training with the rest of the team in their training camp in Austria.
But they have now been sold permanently, having spent the 2020/21 campaign on loan with their respective buyers.
The fee for Grujic is believed to be £10.5m while Awoniyi has departed for around £6.5m after a deal was struck with Union Berlin – a combined £17m.
That’s a tidy profit on both players, with Serbian Grujic arriving from Red Star Belgrade back in 2016 for around £5m. He went on to make 16 first-team appearances for the Premier League club.
Awoniyi joined Liverpool in August 2015 for around £400,000, but has not made a single appearance for the club and was only granted a work permit to play in the UK in May.
Since signing for the Reds, he has been on loan at FSV Frankfurt, NEC Nijmegen, Royal Excel Mouscron, Gent, Mainz and Union Berlin, where he scored five goals in 22 games on loan last season.
The Reds have also inserted a ten per cent sell-on fee for the pair.
The impending sale of the duo comes after a series of astute pieces of business from sporting director Michael Edwards, who has made his name as a bit of a genius at getting big fees for fringe players at Anfield.
Rhian Brewster was sold to Sheffield United last summer for a huge £23.5m fee – a club-record for the Blades – despite making just four appearances for Liverpool.
Bournemouth also landed Jordon Ibe on a four-year deal for a club-record £15m in 2016, before then splashing out a huge £19m fee to sign then-Reds ace Dominic Solanke three years later.
The Reds also flogged Welsh goalkeeper Danny Ward to Leicester for £12.5m in 2018, having spent just £100,000 to land him from Wrexham in 2012.
More recently, little-known academy goalkeeper Kamil Grabara was sold to FC Copenhagen in 2021 for £3million, having joined Liverpool for £250,000 from Polish club Ruch Chorzow in 2016.
Ki-Jana Hoever was another big-money mover. The Reds signed the young Dutch defender from Ajax for just £90,000 in 2018, and then agreed a deal to sell him to Wolves for £13.5million in 2020.
And of course, while not a lesser-known starlet, the Merseyside club earned huge profit from the sale of Philippe Countino to Barcelona, with the Brazilian joining Liverpool from Inter Milan for £8.5m in 2013 before leaving for the Nou Camp in stunning £142m deal in January 2018.
Jurgen Klopp then reinvested that money on Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk, which helped turn Liverpool into Champions League and Premier League title winners.
The fees for their young players have also added up and meant the club was able to sign centre-back Ibrahim Konate from RB Leipzig this summer, despite owners Fenway Sports Group’s cautious policy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 22-year-old signed for the Premier League side for a £36m fee and is seen as one of the most promising centre-backs in France.