Southampton eye Lorient defender Bruno Ecuele Manga to replace Liverpool-bound Dejan Lovren [L’Equipe]

Southampton may be playing hardball over Dejan Lovren’s transfer to Liverpool but it looks like Ronald Koeman’s side are already putting together a list of replacements.

Plenty of reports in recent days have confirmed that Lovren has put in a transfer request and wants to leave Southampton in order to play Champions League football next season.

So far, Southampton have played hardball and are not willing to sell Lovren on the cheap to Liverpool.

But, L’Equipe report on Monday that Southampton are keen on signing Lorient defender Bruno Ecuele Manga.

The 25-year-old central defender from Gabon would appear to have the physical qualities to improve the Southampton defence and could be a shrewd signing for Southampton.

Ecuele Manga is contracted to Lorient until the end of the 2014/2015 season so could also arrive at a decent price considering what Liverpool will pay for Lovren.

But, L’Euipe add that Borussia Monchengladbach and Lazio are expected to also bid for Bruno Ecuele Manga in the coming days, after he recently rejected the offer of a new deal at Lorient.