Dejan Lovren linked with surprise switch to AS Roma

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AS Roma have joined Liverpool in the race to sign Dejan Lovren and are prepared to pay £15 million for the Southampton defender's signature.

According to the Daily Star, the 24-year-old Croatia international is attracting interest from a growing list of admirers following an impressive breakthrough season in England.

Lovren arrived at St Mary's from Lyon in an £8.5 million deal last summer, and played an integral role as the south coast club recorded their highest ever Premier League points tally, finishing in eighth place under the tutelage of the much admired Mauricio Pochettino.

But, with Pochettino now confirmed as Tottenham Hotspur's new manager, his departure could spark a mass exodus of Southampton first-team stars, with Lovren among the names linked with a possible exit.

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has been credited with an interest in bringing Lovren to Anfield, as he looks to strengthen his back line in preparation for Liverpool's return to the Champions League next season.

However, the Merseyside club could face serious competition for the Southampton stopper's services, with Rudi Garcia also keen to lure Lovren to Stadio Olimpico.

The Serie 'A' outfit are set to lose star centre-back Mehdi Benatia, and have identified the Saints star as a player to fill the imminent void left by Benatia's exit.

Last week Lovren played down speculation suggesting he was set to leave Southampton, reiterating his commitment to the club that brought him to the Premier League.

"I feel great at Southampton and my contract is valid for the next three years," he said. "So the only thing I can say right now is that the club is the one who decides."

But, with so much uncertainty now surrounding Saints, a move to Liverpool or AS Roma could prove too attractive a proposition to turn down.

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