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Liverpool land Lovren for £20m from Southampton on four-year deal

Croatia international centre back Dejan Lovren has signed for 10/1 Premier League title shots Liverpool from Southampton for £20m. He joins up with fellow former Saints players Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert, and has penned a four-year contract.

The Reds stated on their official website: “Liverpool Football Club are delighted to announce the signing of defender Dejan Lovren from Southampton.

“The 25-year-old Croatian international today put pen to paper on a long-term deal with the Reds after completing his medical.”

Lovren, meanwhile, said: “After I played at Anfield last season, I said to myself: ‘One day I hope I’ll be able to play here for Liverpool’. The fans will know from the first minute that I’m a player that will give 100 per cent on the pitch.”

The transfer comes after many weeks of speculation, and follows the player’s public desire to move to Anfield. It also happened just hours after the reports that a move from the Reds for QPR forward Loic Remy failed to materialise.

Besides Lovren’s former Southampton teammates Lallana and Lambert, the 25-year-old joins new signings Emre Can and Lazar Markovic as well. Manager Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, is still expected to bring in more players.

Reds boss Rodgers said of the new arrival: “This is a very important signing for us. He is a commanding and powerful presence and clearly has leadership skills, which is important. He fits the profile of player we are looking for.

“He is still relatively young, so his peak years are ahead of him and I believe he will improve and progress even further with us.”

Lovren joins an exodus of players from the south coast side, with Luke Shaw already gone to Manchester United, while the likes of Calum Chambers, Morgan Schneiderlin, Jay Rodriguez and Dani Osvaldo are all being linked with moves away.

The defender, who played for his country at the World Cup finals in Brazil, will now join up with his new teammates on their pre-season tour in the USA, where he hopes to impress. He will be challenging the likes of Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, Mamadou Sakho and Kolo Toure for a starting berth this coming season.