Sunday, July 6, 2014

Defender has set his heart towards playing at Anfield

Dejan Lovren has told Sportske Novosti his head is already at Liverpool despite Southampton rejecting an offer worth 20 million pounds.

Croatia defender Lovren, 25, appeared set to be the latest star to depart St Mary's, with Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana already having moved to Anfield while Luke Shaw has joined Manchester United. Their former coach Mauricio Pochettino has also departed for Tottenham.

However, new Saints boss Ronald Koeman rejected the Reds' bid for Lovren and the player has expressed his frustration at the situation.

"Liverpool sent the offer and the club haven't informed me," he said. "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."

He said he had addressed a letter to the club to make clear his feelings but no longer knew who was in charge of such decisions.

"Honestly, I don't know who the main man at the club is anymore," he said. "They are now looking for 25 million pounds, but I don't think they'll get it."

He added: "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."

Lovren, who arrived from Lyon a year ago, insisted he would not be looking to leave Southampton if the club had aimed higher.

"Look, I'd gladly stay in Southampton if the club had any ambitions, if they kept the key players," he said. "[If that had happened] not even the Liverpool bid would have dissuaded me."

He added: "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."

He said that midway through the season, when concerns were raised over the direction of the club and Cortese ultimately left, he realised there were problems.

"No one knew who would take over the club," he said. "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."

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