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Defender Refuses to Report to Pre-Season Training in Attempt to Force Liverpool Move

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Sources close to Dejan Lovren say Southampton have turned down a £20M Liverpool bid that meets the threshold he was to be sold at and that as a result he will not report to pre-season training.

Robert Cianflone

Dejan Lovren submitted a written transfer request to the Southampton board on May 30th. It went ignored for more than two weeks as, without a new head coach installed at the time, the club hierarchy did their best to ignore both Lovren and Adam Lallana's attempts to force moves. Now Saints have their new coach, but it hasn't changed Lovren's determination to get a move away this summer.

Reports in the Southern Daily Echo, citing sources close to the player, say that Lovren will not report for pre-season at the club. His involvement at the World Cup with Croatia means that he will not be expected back until the end of the month, giving some time for Southampton to sort out his future, but if the day comes when he is expected back and he's still a Saint, he won't be showing up.

The sources close to Lovren feeding information to the Echo insist that two Liverpool bids have been turned down for the player already—including one bid that met the £20M threshold Lovren and his representatives believed Saints had agreed to sell him for. Lovren's goal is to play in the Champions League, and following the departure of Mauricio Pochettino he no longer believes that is a goal he can achieve with Southampton.

Tottenham and Lovren's old manager are also believed to be interested in the player, though their lack of Champions League football makes them a far less desirable destination for the player.