This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Southampton have rejected a "substantial bid" from Liverpool for Croatian defender Dejan Lovren, sources have told ESPN FC.
Reports suggest the fee offered by the Anfield club is around 18 million pounds, but new Saints boss Ronald Koeman is eager to hang onto the centre-back after seeing three stars leave in recent weeks.
Liverpool have already signed Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana from the Saints, while teenage full-back Luke Shaw has made a 27 million pound move to Manchester United.
Lovren has reportedly made it clear to Southampton officials that he is keen to follow Lambert and Lallana to Liverpool, but the south coast club insist they are not prepared to sell any more key players until they have replacements lined up.
The Daily Mail has reported that Lovren, 24, is not expected to be at pre-season training.
Meanwhile, Koeman has been promised the bulk of the cash from player sales to reshape the squad he inherited from Mauricio Pochettino.