Southampton defender Dejan Lovren has decided to go public with his disappointment on the club rejecting a £20m offer from Liverpool for his services, insisting that a lack of ambition on the South Coast means he wants to leave and has heart set on playing at Anfield every week next season.
Lovren is a man in-demand this summer, with Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool all looking for a top central defender to improve their squad and viewing the Croatian international as an attainable target.
Liverpool are the only club to make their interest concrete and remain confident of closing a deal despite their opening offer being turned away by Saints, a snub which led Lovren to tell Croatian website Sportske Novosti that he is desperate to leave.
Let me go
Lovren's criticism of Saints was passed on the Liverpool Echo today, with the centre-back stating: "Liverpool sent a £20m offer and they [Southampton] paid nine million for me, so they would've earned twice the amount.
"At this point, I don't know what I'll do and I don't like it. It was unbelievable that a few days ago I had an offer of 20 million pounds. It was in the morning and by the afternoon the club had said I was not for sale. Frankly, my head is already at Liverpool.
"Liverpool sent the offer and the club haven't informed me. 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."
No way back
The 25-year-old could be the fourth Southampton star to move on this summer and the third to join Liverpool, with Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert already on Merseyside and Lovren very keen to join them.
Saints allowed Lallana, Lambert and Luke Shaw to move on but view Lovren as close to indispensable, but will very reluctantly sanction his sale if Liverpool up their offer to £25m.
Spurs and Arsenal have maintained a watching brief but are keeping a close check on developments, with former Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino in particular considering a move for a player he knows very well, after making an astute move to sign him from Lyon last summer.
Whatever happens Saints fans will be very disappointed to hear Lovren make disrespectful comments about the club, but in reality it may be the right time for both parties to move on and accept that anything more than £20m is a huge fee for a central defender, money Ronald Koeman can add to a massive transfer warchest for a huge rebuilding project over the next 12 months.
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