Dejan Lovren has put pen to paper on a new long-term contract with Liverpool, keeping him at the club until at least the end of 2020/21.
The centre-back has been in talks with the club for a lengthy period, following extensions for Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana and Joe Gomez.
Having carved out a regular role at the back under Jurgen Klopp, making 25 Premier League starts this season, Lovren’s new deal reflects that.
He is reported to have signed a new four-year deal worth £100,000 a week, with Liverpool negotiating an option to extend his contract by a further year.
This could see him remain with the Reds until 2022, in a real show of faith from Klopp.
“Dejan is a big presence for us on the pitch and in the dressing room—this is wonderful news that he has committed to LFC for such a long time,” the manager explained on Friday.
“It is our intention to build this squad around the great talent we already have. We want to keep our core together.
“I am really pleased Dejan has become the latest to recognise that Liverpool is a place where players can achieve their dreams and goals.
“He is an outstanding defender and someone who, I believe, still has his best times to come as a player.
“He has all the assets a top centre-half needs in the modern game.”
Lovren’s extension comes ahead of a transfer window in which Klopp is expected to spend heavily on a new, top-level centre-back.
His most notable target is Lovren’s successor at Southampton, Virgil van Dijk, with reports suggesting Liverpool are willing to pay £50 million to secure the Dutchman’s services.
But given Lovren has just signed a new £100,000-a-week, four-year deal, Klopp’s defensive hierarchy is difficult to predict.
However, both Lovren and Joel Matip have suffered regular injury problems in 2016/17, and a new centre-back will be required to navigate these in the future.
At 27, Lovren is now one of the club’s highest earners, with his new wage in line with that of Lallana, who agreed terms on a new £110,000-a-week contract back in February.
This could continue to set precedent for those still in negotiations with the club, chiefly midfielder Emre Can.
Can’s deal expires at the end of next season, and given his key role under Klopp, he can expect a similar salary to the Croatian.