It's no fun inheriting a squad that other clubs are bound and determined to pick apart player by player, but the new boss at Southampton, Ronald Koeman, is trying to hold on to his remaining talent as best he can. After want away centre back Dejan Lovren expressed the possibility that he may not report for pre-season training after his post-World Cup vacation, Koeman emphasized his expectations and intentions for the player.
"I spoke two times to Dejan," said Koeman. "He was very clear. I said I want to keep him in the team. I respect his wishes, but we have to do what the best is for the club. He has a contract, he has to come back this Sunday, but I don’t know what will happen after this. He said it’s a difficult situation and he will have another talk to the club and his agent, but he knows he has to come back because he is still a player of Southampton.
"I know Liverpool have got a lot of money now after the Suárez transfer, and normally they will spend that money, and they will buy some players, and maybe they will buy one player of Southampton. But as a manager of Southampton, I have to do everything to keep the best players. The final decision is of the board of the club."
Of course, Liverpool have already bought not one but two players of Southampton and are hoping on a third in Lovren if they can come to terms with both the player and his club. Fans of both clubs won't have to wait much longer to see if Lovren makes good on his refusal to turn up for training, and his eventual choice could make an impact on where he ends up playing his football starting next month.