AC Milan always faced a challenge in their efforts to sign Dejan Lovren. Namely that neither Lovren nor Liverpool was particularly eager to do a deal. Lovren was always said to be open to a move to Serie A, but open to is a long way from desperate to.
Absent desperate to, Milan was always going to pay full price, and with the Italian giants currently kicked out of Europe due to Financial Fair Play violations, full price—when it came to both fee and wages—was probably always going to be too much.
And so it is today we have a new story out of Italy, with Tuttosport claiming Milan have shifted their focus to Eric Bailly, down to the final year of his Manchester United deal and with the club actively looking to sell to make room for Harry Maguire.
At least for now, then, it appears as though Liverpool will head into the season with Lovren on the books, giving them arguably the best four-deep group of centre halves in all of football—though finding enough playing time for them all will be difficult.
Virgil van Dijk will start every game he’s fit to in the league and Europe, leaving a choice for Jürgen Klopp as to which of Joël Matip, Joe Gomez, or Lovren starts alongside him. On the strength of last season, it’s difficult to imagine that won’t be Matip.
Still, with Liverpool competing for as many as seven trophies this season, there will be opportunities for both Lovren and Gomez to play and to perhaps even earn the starting job alongside Van Dijk.