Dejan Lovren is set to end his six-year spell at Liverpool as Zenit St Petersburg close in on a deal for the defender, according to reports.
Croatian defender Lovren has appeared for the Reds 185 times since arriving in a £20m deal from Southampton in 2014. However, with just a year left on his contract, he will be allowed to move on this summer.
TEAMtalk reported earlier in the year that Lovren will have his pick from a four London clubs, while Roma and Napoli were also keen. But The Times claims Lovren is, in fact, set to move to Zenit St Petersburg.
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According to Russian journalist Andrey Pankov, of Russia outlet Championship, Lovren could make the move as a free agent. That’s because Lovren has an ‘agreement’ with Liverpool that he can leave early.
Reports suggest Jurgen Klopp has sanctioned the departure due to his outstanding service to the club. It’s claimed the German doesn’t want to force the centre-half to stay with the club and sit on the bench.
The Times reporter Paul Joyce later tweeted to say Liverpool do hold a one-year option on Lovren’s deal. That means he is effectively contracted to the Reds until 2022 – meaning claims of a free transfer may be premature.
Last September, Lovren admitted Klopp convinced him to stay at Anfield for another season.
“I wanted to leave, it didn’t happen, I was told Liverpool need me and I accepted that,” he said.
“It was not meant to be for me to leave.
“Last week I spoke to Klopp again. He told me he understands me, knows I am not happy, but he also said: ‘Look, now it [the transfer window] is finished, I want you to reset your head, you’re important’.”
Liverpool, of course, have Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk as their first choice defensive pairing.
The Premier League champions also have Joel Matip to call on, while Fabinho can fill in when required. Furthermore, they have also been linked with the likes Ben White and Kalidou Koulibaly as replacements.
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