Manchester United prepare £15m offer for top defender

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Manchester United manager David Moyes has instructed club officials to make his interest in Southampton defender Dejan Lovren concrete with a £15m summer offer, according to The Metro.

Lovren has quickly proved his worth as a commanding Premier League centre-back at St Mary's this season, with the Croatian international helping Southampton become firmly established as a club competing in the top half of the division.

The 24-year-old is very much viewed as an important figure to Southampton's continued development, but United want to test that position with a substantial summer offer if the Metro are to be believed.

Moyes has reportedly identified Lovren as a classy operator capable of being Nemanja Vidic's long-term successor at Old Trafford, telling United chiefs that he is well worth signing during the close season.

Saints are no strangers to transfer speculation surrounding their top stars, with teenage full-back Luke Shaw in particular consistently mentioned in connection with the Red Devils.

United are widely expected to be very busy in the transfer market when a turbulent campaign finally finishes, with central defence in particular a position which needs strengthening.

Vidic has already confirmed a summer switch to Inter Milan, while Rio Ferdinand's long-term future remains open for debate.

Lovren would provide fresh legs in a problem position for United, although Saints have got given any indication that even a close to double-their-money return on last summer's £8.5m investment will be enough to lure him away from the South Coast.

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