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Lovren’s Liverpool leaning

Southampton’s Dejan Lovren has become the latest player to link himself with a move away from the south coast club. The centre back has spoken out, slamming the lack of direction at the Saints, and reiterating his desire to join former teammates Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert on Merseyside.

“Look, I’d gladly stay in Southampton if the club had any ambitions, if they kept the key players. When I decided to go to Southampton, many people were surprised, but I went because the people at the club had great ambition,” said Lovren.

“It was because of that I’d agreed to sign for Southampton. When the chairman left, and Pochettino was going too as early as April, I realised things had fallen apart.”

Liverpool, who have been courting the player since the end of the season, began with a subtle £4m move his teammate Lambert, before returning with £25m offer for Lallana. After Luke Shaw joined Manchester United, and with Morgan Schneiderlin attracting interest from Arsenal, the Reds’ strategy could be about to pay off. Timing has been crucial for Brendan Rodgers, and he now holds all the cards.

Lovren is casting an envious eye at his former teammates, not least Lambert and Lallana, who appear to be part of an exciting Merseyside mission to help bring the glory days back to Anfield. He has been the subject of a recent bid, though to be in the region of £20m from Rodgers, after previous offers were rejected.

“Liverpool sent the offer and the club haven’t informed me,” the Croatian said. “Not even about the subsequent Liverpool bids. That wasn’t right. I found out about the bid from other people which disappointed me and I realised I’ve got no business staying at Southampton. Frankly, my head is already at Liverpool.”

Quotes which now hand the Reds all the leverage, and make Lovren’s fee all of a sudden negotiable. It is unlikely Southampton will want to keep a player, whose head and heart isn’t really in it. Their next tactic, should they want to keep the player must be to replace Shaw, Lallana and Lambert with quality players, especially with Lovren’s centre half partner Jose Fonte also the subject of continuous interest from Hull City.

The chances of that happening in the next few days, however, are slim. The Saints are rumoured to be looking at FC Twente’s Serbian attacking midfielder Dusan Tadic, who could replace Lallana. Lorient defender Bruno Eqele Manga has also been linked, as has perhaps the most well-known duo of the players connected; Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall, and Colombian left back Pablo Armero, previously on loan at West Ham.

New boss Ronald Koeman has kept very quiet since arriving on the south coast to replace Mauricio Pochettino. It is no wonder that Lovren is eyeing up a move to Merseyside. He could soon become the latest addition to the Rodgers revolution.

Southampton visit Anfield in the first game of the new Premier League season, and are 13/2 for the victory, while Liverpool are odds-on at 2/5. The draw meanwhile, is offered at 7/2.