Reds rule out defender departure


Liverpool will not entertain any offers for defender Dejan Lovren in the January transfer window.

The Croatia international was believed to be keen to leave Anfield over the summer after he dropped down the pecking order.

Lovren managed just 13 Premier League appearances last season and was left on the bench in the Champions League final win over Tottenham Hotspur.

Serie A heavyweights AC Milan and Roma were both linked with the 30-year-old but Liverpool managed to keep hold of Lovren as they largely kept their squad intact after the summer window closed.

Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip are manager Jurgen Klopp’s first-choice pairing at the heart of defence, although Lovren has seen more action of late as the latter has been sidelined with a knee injury.

The Croatian is expected to start on Sunday when Liverpool host title rivals Manchester City but there was still speculation he could seek a move away in search of a more regular role when the January transfer window opens.

However, Klopp is reported to have told Lovren he will not be sold in the January transfer window as he doesn’t want to be left short of options at the back.

Lovren arguably began the season as Liverpool’s fourth choice centre-half but Joe Gomez has struggled for form allowing the former Southampton ace to feature more often, even if Van Dijk and Matip are ahead of him, so it seems as if he will at least see out the season at Anfield.

Lovren will enter the final year of his deal when the current campaign comes to an end so Liverpool could well be open to offers next summer – but for now he is firmly in Klopp’s plans.

Roma and the Rossoneri were believed to have been put off by the Reds’ asking price last summer, with some reports claiming the Premier League outfit wanted as much as £26million for the former Dinamo Zagreb and Lyon star.

Liverpool are likely to lower their demands at the end of the season due to Lovren’s contract situation but an exit in January appears to be off the table.