The transfer window has closed across Europe’s big leagues and Dejan Lovren is still a Liverpool player. Given the persistent rumours linking him with a Roma move, it’s perhaps mildly surprising that he is, but the player says his focus now is back with Liverpool.
He also says that, in the end, his failure to move to Roma was down to Roma, who started off seemingly serious about signing the 30-year-old Croatian only to in the end leave the player feeling uncertain—and like he’d rather stay at Anfield and wait for his chance.
“Milan contacted me but Roma was most persistent, but the negotiations didn’t go well,” he told Croatia’s Sportske Novosti. “I don’t want to go somewhere and prove someone who I am and how do I play and am I ready or not. I [didn’t want] to go anywhere on loan.”
Early in the summer, Roma’s approach was rumoured to be for a permanent deal. Then, it became a loan with an obligation to buy. By the end, it was a loan with an option, leaving Lovren feeling less than fully wanted by the Serie A side—in contrast to Liverpool.
“I feel very happy because all the time I felt Liverpool was by me,” he said. “I respect that. Klopp told me, ‘We will not let you go on loan, we need you.’ When he told me that, it was unclear to me because I know currently I am in worst position of the centre backs.
“I wanted to leave, it didn’t happen, I was told Liverpool needs me and I accepted that. It was not meant to be for me to leave. Last week again, Klopp told me he understands, but he also said, ‘Look, now it is finished, reset your head, I find you important.’”
In the end, Lovren will be important. Between the league and Europe and two domestic cups and the Club World Cup, Liverpool are likely to play 60-plus games this season. He may currently be fourth choice, but there’s a lot of football to play. He will get chances.
“I feel relief after transfer window is closed,” the defender added. “I got tired of reading and listening every day about me leaving or staying. I didn’t want to force my way out. Two years ago I signed four-year contract, enjoyed every moment, achieved big things.
“That would not have been possible had I not been in such big club as Liverpool. Klopp made it very clear. He told me I could leave if I find new club and if I want to leave, but he also told me he and Liverpool would need me.”