Liverpool target Dejan Lovren “hands in Southampton transfer request”

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Reported Liverpool target Dejan Lovren has handed in a formal transfer request to leave Southampton, according to the Daily Mail.

The 24-year-old central defender has been linked with a move to Anfield this summer with Brendan Rodgers looking to shore up his defence for the 2014/15 campaign.

Neil Ashton writes on the Daily Mail‘s website on Wednesday afternoon:

Sportsmail Online can reveal that the central defender wrote an email to executive director Les Reed and chairman Ralph Krueger on May 30 with notice of his desire to leave St Mary’s this summer.

In the email, the defender outlined his ambition to play Champions League football next season and wants to move this summer.

Lovren’s written transfer request will no doubt trigger a step up in negotiations by Liverpool, but they may be forced to wait some time longer before capturing their target.

Upon Liverpool’s £4 million signing of forward Rickie Lambert last month, amid bids from the Reds to sign midfielder Adam Lallana, Southampton issued this statement:

Southampton Football Club can confirm that we have received multiple offers for some of our players in the past weeks… We are deep in the process of appointing a new manager who will continue to move our club forward. It remains our preference not to partake in any transfers until the new manager is in place.

The Saints parted with manager Mauricio Pochettino when he joined Tottenham shortly after the end of the 2013/14 season and it remains their priority to find his successor before agreeing to the sales of any more players.

Liverpool’s defence leaked in 49 goals during the 2013/14 season, prompting widespread criticism that a tighter defence would have helped their title chances.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 26, 2014: Everton's James McCarthy is brought down by Southampton's Dejan Lovren during the Premiership match at St Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)
Everton‘s James McCarthy is brought down by Southampton‘s Dejan Lovren during the Premiership match at St Mary’s Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last month, This Is Anfield’s Henry Jackson wrote about Lovren’s credentials in a comparison with Martin Skrtel and Cardiff City’s Steven Caulker, another reported transfer target for the Reds this summer:

Lovren’s terrific reading of the game is highlighted by his interception statistics. To make 2.7 per game on average shows just how important he was to Southampton’s success this season. The same applies with his tackling.

Keep up to date with all the latest Liverpool transfer rumours this summer in our Rumour Mill.

Would you like to see Lovren at Liverpool? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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