Reports emerged earlier this week that Southampton centreback Dejan Lovren had submitted a formal transfer request in order to expedite his departure from St. Mary's. Citing a desire to play Champions League football, Lovren's preferred destination is allegedly Liverpool but things could get sticky now that Barcelona have expressed interest.
As with the previous Lovren rumour, direct sources remain sketchy and the likes of the Daily Express bring us this fine morsel of transfer business. Barcelona's reufsal to sign a centre back has been a running joke for long enough that it's become a wee bit problematic now that Carles Puyol has retired. Barca's long-time flirtation with Daniel Agger has amounted to nothing over the years, and an ascendant Lovren could fit the bill.
The story seems largely prompted by the influx of cash the Catalan club received just yesterday when Cesc Fabregas was sold to Chelsea for £30m. Barcelona are set to make a £20m bid for Lovren in hopes of making a deal with Southampton before Liverpool can get their own deal done, if that is in fact what the Merseyside club wish to do.
There still hasn't been any solid confirmation on Liverpool's interest. The Express is of the belief that Brendan Rodgers wants to make sure Lovren follows both Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana to Anfield, but with the Lallana deal still unresolved despite an ultimatum from Liverpool, this three peas in a pod approach seems a bit too tidy given the current reality. Whether Liverpool would even want to match a £20m bid for a player purchased for only £8.5m the previous season also remains to be seen.