Dejan Lovren left out of Southampton squad for friendly

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Southampton left defender Dejan Lovren out of their squad for the friendly against Dutch side KSK Hasselt, with speculation still hanging over his future at the club.

Ronald Koeman and his team finished their pre-season tour of Belgium with a game against the third division outfit, but the decision to exclude Lovren will certainly raise some eyebrows.


It could be a number of things that lead to the exclusion of the Croat: he may well still be getting back to fitness after a holiday following the World Cup, he may be being punished by Koeman for his comments about his future at Southampton, or perhaps it does mean he  is on his way out.

As the rest of the squad have been included on the teamsheet tonight, including goalkeeper Artur Boruc, Japan defender Maya Yoshide and new signing Graziano Pelle, who have all only just returned to the fold for one reason or another, the decision not to list Lovren seems strange.

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The Dutch manager confirmed in his first press conference since taking charge that he "wanted to keep him in the team" so the absence could well be down to the defender's recent appearance at the World Cup with Croatia.

Fitness issues

It does little to douse the flames surrounding his future, with speculation in the Daily Star that he remains intent on pursuing a move to Liverpool where he would join up with ex-Southampton teammates Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert who have both moved to Anfield this summer.

Liverpool talk

Lovren angered Southampton fans with his comments made earlier this month, where he stated his desire to move North and that his "head was already at Liverpool" after learning of a £20million offer being made by Brendan Rodgers' side.

Whether Lovren goes or stays, it seems the defender's future needs sorting as soon as possible so that both parties can focus on the season ahead, with Southampton needing a replacement if he goes, and Rodgers needing to look elsewhere if his search is forlorn.

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