Southampton boss Ronald Koeman has issued a “hands off” warning to Liverpool in their attempts to sign defender Dejan Lovren.
The Saints have already sold Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana to Liverpool this summer, with left-back Luke Shaw going to Man United.
New boss Koeman insists Southampton aren’t a club in the business of selling after they turned down Liverpool’s reported £20 million offer for Croatian international Lovren last week.
“We said: ‘Okay, this is it – we are not a selling club.’ The players have contracts. We don’t sell any more players and we will try keep to that,” he said.
“We sold three players – that’s good enough money. Now we will keep the rest and we will continue with what we did last season.
“I know Liverpool have a lot of money and they will spend that money and maybe they want to buy a player from Southampton.
“But as manager of Southampton I have to do everything to keep those players. The final decision is with the board.”
Lovren appeared to be forcing a move to Anfield through last week, quoted by ESPN as saying in his head is already at Liverpool:
“Liverpool sent the offer and the club haven’t informed me. Not even about the subsequent Liverpool bids. That wasn’t right. I found out about the bid from other people which disappointed me and I realised I’ve got no business staying at Southampton.
“Liverpool sent a £20 million and they [Southampton] paid nine million for me, so they would’ve earned twice the amount.
“At this point, I don’t know what I’ll do and I don’t like it. It was unbelievable that a few days ago I had an offer of £20 million. It was in the morning and by the afternoon the club had said I was not for sale. Frankly, my head is already at Liverpool.”
Liverpool hope to seal deals for Benfica forward Lazar Markovic and Lille striker Divock Origi this weekend as the summer spending continues.
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