With AC Milan’s proposed move for Dejan Lovren appearing no closer to fruition, another Serie A club has emerged as a possible destination for Liverpool’s No. 6.
Lovren has returned as a focal part of the Reds’ pre-season preparations, but clearly remains behind at least Joel Matip in the running for Virgil van Dijk‘s centre-back partner.
Matip started all three games alongside the Dutchman on the US tour, with Lovren coming on as a second-half substitute against Dortmund, Sevilla and Sporting CP for a total of 97 minutes.
With Joe Gomez available and Sepp van den Berg making his way into the side, there is considerable competition at the heart of the defence, and Lovren could be seen as the most dispensable.
Milan have been widely credited with an interest in the Croatian this summer, with the club holding talks with his agent, but Liverpool’s price tag of £20 million has so far deterred the San Siro outfit.
Now, Gazzetta dello Sport are among a host of Italian publications to link Lovren with a move to AS Roma instead.
Lovren is seen as an alternative to Toby Alderweireld, with little movement from the Belgian despite a £25 million release clause in his contract earlier this summer.
Furthermore, though the Reds’ valuation is again noted as a possible issue, it is claimed there would be “favourable treatment” for Roma due to “excellent relations” between the two clubs.
Liverpool have conducted business with Roma twice in the past two summers, with Mohamed Salah and Alisson arriving from Stadio Olimpico, and co-owner James Pallotta is said to be friends with FSG’s Tom Werner.
Juventus’ Daniele Rugani, Fiorentina captain German Pezzella, Lucas Verissimo of Santos and Monaco pair Jemerson and Kamil Glik are mentioned as other options.
Roma’s interest in Lovren is corroborated by Italian journalist Alfredo Pedulla, who cites the presence of the 30-year-old’s representative, Bjorn Beemer, in Rome as key to developments.
Kostas Manolas left Roma for Napoli earlier this summer, leaving new manager Paulo Fonseca to fill the void and identify a new partner for Federico Fazio.
Lovren could provide that, and it could be argued that he would be better suited to life as first choice in Serie A.
But with little sign of any further investment this summer, it is questionable whether Liverpool should weaken Jurgen Klopp‘s squad by allowing any more first-team players to leave.