According to reports from Team Talk, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has sanctioned a move for Dejan Lovren’s summer exit should the central defender choose to depart Merseyside.
Lovren, 30, has been touted with an Anfield exit in recent weeks amid reported interest from Premier League clubs Arsenal and Tottenham.
Reports in Italy have also suggested that the Croatia international is interested in a move to Serie A and would even be open to a pay cut to link up with former Liverpool teammate Lucas Leiva at Lazio[Gazzetta dello Sport].
The latest development in the Lovren saga is that Klopp has reportedly agreed to the former Southampton star to leave at the end of the season if that is what the player wants.
According to The Mirror, Lovren was part of a six-man shortlist of Liverpool stars that were linked with an Anfield exit. The Croatian along with Loris Karius, Nathaniel Clyne, Naby Keita, Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi were all amongst those vulnerable as potential club outgoings for the Reds.
Klopp’s acceptance to Lovren’s likely departure comes with the manager’s recognition of the player’s outstanding service to the club during Lovren’s six-year spell with the club and the German doesn’t want to stand in the way of the defender’s wishes.
Lovren enjoyed a sustained run in the team before the turn of the new year alongside Virgil van Dijk and was enjoying a fine run alongside the UEFA Player of the Year before a muscle injury hampered his progress.
Since the setback, the World Cup finalist has started just one PL match for Liverpool – a 3-0 defeat at Watford – and Lovren has since fallen behind in the defensive pecking order to Joe Gomez.
The reality is that Lovren is at a stage in his career where he is still in the latter stages of his peak and needs to be playing as regularly as he can.
Lovren nearly joined Serie A last summer after a move to AC Milan in the previous summer window almost materialised into a done-deal and with the World Cup finalist entering the final 12 months of his current deal an imminent departure could be expected.
What RTK has to say
It’s fair to say that one thing that hasn’t lacked in Lovren’s Anfield tenure is excitment.
The combative central defender has on numerous occasions rose above the doubters and vindicated himself as a top-performer in Klopp’s star-studded team.
Some people have short memories and will forget how impressive the 30-year-old was when Joel Matip fell victim to a knee injury in early October.
Rather than Joe Gomez, it was Lovren who was entrusted by Klopp as his next central defensive lieutenant and the World Cup finalist certainly vindicated his German manager’s judgment. Emphatic performances in particular against Manchester City, Leicester and Tottenham Hotspur showcased that Lovren could still mix it up with the best in the business.
Sadly for the player, Lovren has suffered due to the title that came with his signature after joining from St Mary’s in 2014 for a fee of £20m [BBC Sport].
The former Lyon star was declared by former manager Brendan Rodgers as the natural successor to Jamie Carragher and the leader at the back that had been lacking in the Englishman’s absence.
A nightmare inaugural campaign for Lovren and the rest of his teammates have since meant it’s been difficult for the defender to shake off the doubters.
While Lovren is certainly not immune to the odd chaotic and erratic individual showing, there is also a player that has demonstrated time-and-time-again why Klopp has fought tooth and nail to keep Lovren’s services at Anfield.
He could leave Anfield as a Premier League winner and no-one can deny that Lovren hasn’t played a significant role in the club’s gargantuan transformation over the past few years.