English media are reporting that Southampton defender Dejan Lovren is close to securing a move to Liverpool. The deal will reportedly be announced withing the next 48 hours.
Although Southampton reportedly rejected Liverpool’s initial bid of £20 million ($34 million), the club has softened its stance since the player has expressed his desire to leave the South Coast.
The Croatian international defender, who joined the Premier League club from Lyon, would be leaving Southampton after only 12 months.
Should the transfer take place, Lovren would be the third Saints player to defect from Southampton in favor of the Anfield club.
Since January, Southampton have seen the departures of their chairman Nicola Cortese, manager Mauricio Pochettino (to Spurs), Luke Shaw (to Manchester United); as well as Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana (to Liverpool).
Upon his departure, Cortese warned the club not to sell its prized talents.
“We created those talents,” he told BBC Sport. “It was key to keep them. You don’t produce them just to sell, otherwise you give away your ambition.”
Cortese was the man who took charge of the club in 2009 when they were competing in League One. They started the 2009-10 season on minus 10 points after entering administration under the previous regime.
But the Italian banker’s blueprint for success directed Southampton to two straight promotions as the club rose from League One to the Premier League.
Speculation is that Cortese resigned his position over differences with Southampton owner Katharina Liebherr regarding the immediate future of the club.
Cortese made his intentions clear, saying he had no plans to sell the club’s young talent and his goal was to obtain European football within the next two seasons.
But it is apparent now that Liebherr had other plans.
When the Lovren transfer takes place, he will be the fourth Saints player to leave this summer. And speculation is that he won’t be the last.
Midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin has reportedly opened talks with Arsenal and Tottenham over a possible move. Plus, reports this morning indicate that the 24-year-old is leaning towards Spurs as his new destination, due to his relationship with former Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino.