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Liverpool and Southampton agree fee for Dejan Lovren

Southampton, 11/8 to secure a top 10 finish next term, look set to lose yet another player, as the mass exodus from St Mary’s continues. After weeks of negotiating, they appear to have reached an agreement with Liverpool to sell centre back Dejan Lovren, and in the process strengthening their position as a ‘feeder club’ to the Reds further.

Having already signed Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana from the Saints for a combined fee thought to be in the region of £30m, the Merseyside club sport a number of other promising signings such as central midfielder Emre Can and talented young winger Lazar Markovic.

The fee for their latest target is believed to be £16m, even though Liverpool recently had a £20m bid rejected for the Croatian player. However, upon learning that Brendan Rodgers was interested in signing him, Lovren made it clear that he wanted to move. While the Reds didn’t go short for goals last term, they often struggled to keep clean sheets and seemed to lack organisational discipline.

Rodgers clearly feels the player, who featured for Croatia at the World Cup, can add vital leadership skills to his rearguard that have been missing since former vice-captain Jamie Carragher retired. Although the pursuit of a new left back also continues, it is understood deals for strikers Loic Remy and Divock Origi are close to being completed, as the manager seeks to adequately replace Luis Suarez, who they sold to Barcelona for £75m.

Ronald Koeman, however, must now face the prospect of losing another key player. It has been suggested that Cardiff City captain Steven Caulker could be on his way to St Mary’s, although reports indicate that the Dutchman is interested in Aston Villa’s Ron Vlaar who excelled in Brazil with the Netherlands, winning a third place medal.

When questioned about the topic, Koeman admitted his interest, but was defiant over Lovren: “Ron [Vlaar] would definitely be an option, but I think he won’t be cheap right now. Let’s just wait and see.

“We just have to wait how it develops. For now, Dejan can still play with us. I don’t want to lose him but, if he leaves he will only go for a top price.

With the future of defensive midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin also in doubt, the board may just go against his wishes and cash in while they can. Liverpool, meanwhile, look set to gain a top player as they go from strength to strength. They are currently 10/1 to win the Premier League next season.