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This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Liverpool FC have offered Southampton £20million for Dejan Lovren - but are being frustrated in their attempts to wrap up a deal for the centre-back.
The Croatia international is Brendan Rodgers' No 1 defensive target and he is desperate to join former Saints clubmates Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana at Anfield.
Lovren, who has handed in a transfer request, believes he had a gentleman's agreement with the South Coast outfit that he could leave this summer if a club paid £20million for his services.
However, despite Liverpool matching that amount, Southampton are refusing to do business and are holding out for a higher fee.
Lovren has been left fuming by what he sees as Saints reneging on a promise and is ready to go on strike in order to force through his dream move.
The 24-year-old is currently on holiday following Croatia's elimination from the World Cup in Brazil.
He is due back for pre-season training on July 21 but is prepared to stay away in protest - despite being warned by Southampton that he faces being heavily fined.
Lovren wants to play Champions League football for Liverpool next season and Rodgers is a big admirer of his talents.
The Reds boss believes his leadership qualities would help to shore up a backline which leaked 50 Premier League goals last term.
Lovren is just 13 months into the four-year deal he signed when he joined Southampton for £8.5million from Lyon last June.
He enjoyed an outstanding campaign for Saints and scored the winner when he faced the Reds at Anfield.
As well as Lovren, Rodgers still wants to reinforce his defensive options with a top class left-back.
Sevilla have claimed that Alberto Moreno is staying put after Liverpool refused to meet their £20million valuation.
However, the Reds haven't given up on their pursuit of the Spain international and could yet restart negotiations over the coming weeks in the hope an agreement can be reached.
Source: Liverpool Echo
, Dejan Lovren
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