Surely it’s only a matter of time until Dejan Lovren leaves Southampton for Liverpool.
Confirming a story first reporting by the Southern Daily Echo last week, Southampton’s Croatian defender Lovren has now told Sportske Novosti that the Saints have turned down a £20m bid from Anfield for his services.
Lovren, who has already handed in a transfer request at St Mary’s, and who is widely tipped to refuse to go back for pre-season training at Southampton, has also slagged off his current employers in the press.
Lovren has given a long interview with Sportske Novosti, which the good people at ESPN have translated, as follows:
Liverpool sent the offer and the club haven’t informed m. 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.
Liverpool sent a 20 million 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.
Honestly, I don’t know who the main man at the club is anymore. They are now looking for 25 million pounds, but I don’t think they’ll get it.
Liverpool is one of the biggest clubs in the world. Only Real Madrid have as many fans around the world. The last time I played at Anfield, I got chills when I heard ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone.’ I would like to listen to it all the time.
Look, I’d gladly stay in Southampton if the club had any ambitions, if they kept the key players. [If that had happened] not even the Liverpool bid would have dissuaded me.
When I decided to go to Southampton, many people were surprised, but I went because the people at the club had great ambition. They gave me assurances about the project — the former chairman, Nicola Cortese, and the former coach, Mauricio Pochettino, convinced me. They gave me incredible confidence.
When I began training there, I realised they had a very good team. They promised to buy two more players — they bought [Pablo Daniel] Osvaldo and [Victor] Wanyama. They are great players. The aim was to qualify for Europe, to get into the Europa League at least.
No one knew who would take over the club. Suspicions were raised. I asked Mauricio what was happening and he couldn’t say whether or not he would stay on or make promises for the next five or six years about investment in the club, challenging for the Champions League, making new signings or keeping key players.
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.