It had looked like Serbian youngster Marko Grujic would become Jurgen Klopp's first signing as Liverpool manager. A deal had been agreed with Red Star Belgrade and the 18 year old was due on Merseyside this week to sign a contract and complete a medical.
Red Star have even announced the deal on their website today. However, there's been an unexpected hitch courtesy of the player's father, Goran, who has said he'll hold on to his son's passport to ensure he doesn't sign with the Premier League club.
According to the Daily Mail, Goran Grujic has spoken to Serbian newspaper Blic in an effort to make it known that the deal that will see Marko move to Liverpool only to be loaned back to Red Star for the rest of the season is not in his son's best interests.
According to Grujic senior, Red Star are attempting to force the proposed €7 million deal through to help clear the club's debts.
I won't allow them to destroy my boy.
I'm speaking about people who are in charge of the club (Red Star). Everyone turned their back on them, as they've spent all the money the club has had, and they see a solution in Marko's transfer. That's why there's so much pressure on him. Ten times per day they are calling him by phone, urging him to sign a contract.
Goran Grujic has pointed to the rather peculiar nature of the deal in which Liverpool will pay €7 million for the player only for Red Star to subsequently pay €1 million to loan him back for the rest of the season.
I mean, which club is willing to pay six million Euros, and then to say ''Look, kid, come when you want''? Nope, if Liverpool FC is seriously counting on him, they'll tell him ''Start of training camp in January on this day, at that hour, we're expecting you''. And, what kind of combination is that?
The club is paying for him seven million Euros, but then leave him on loan and that loan costs one million!? Really, I'm starting to think I should call the police to tell them everything about this pressure.
Grujic went on to suggest that his son his being sold a lie and to stop the move from going through, he is willing to hold on to his passport to ensure that he is unable to travel to Merseyside.
All I can say is that the passports are with me, and I can guarantee that Marko is not leaving, he's not going anywhere.
It's certainly an intriguing situation. He obviously feels he has the best interests of his son at heart but holding on to his passport and making the situation public is probably not the best way to go about things.