Despite the English transfer window closing on Thursday, Dejan Lovren could still leave Liverpool with Serie A clubs looking to capitalise on his peripheral role.
Lovren returned to pre-season and immediately found himself behind both Joe Gomez and Joel Matip in the running for Virgil van Dijk‘s centre-back partner.
Gomez has started the first two games of the campaign alongside the Dutchman, and while Lovren joined Matip on the bench for the Community Shield, he was absent as the Premier League got underway.
Both he and Adam Lallana will likely be forced to make do with backup duties if they remain on Merseyside this season—but while there is no speculation over the latter, Lovren is the subject of serious interest.
AC Milan and AS Roma have been pursuing the 30-year-old throughout the summer, but it appears he was not their first-choice target, with no deal emerging so far.
But the Liverpool Echo have reiterated on Monday morning that both are “keen to add” Lovren to their squad, with talks with the Reds ongoing.
It is added that these are “not at an advanced stage,” but there is still time to conclude a move.
The Echo, along with ESPN earlier this month, claim the Italian transfer window closes at 8pm on August 23, though FIFA and Serie A have previously reported that it will remain open until September 2.
Regardless, this maintains the possibility of Lovren departing Anfield after the English deadline, which would be a bold decision by Jurgen Klopp.
Though Sepp van den Berg, Ki-Jana Hoever and Fabinho can also cover at centre-back, persistent injury problems for Gomez and Matip in recent years highlight the need for genuine depth in the role.
Lovren is far from supporters’ ideal choice as stand-in, but the Croatian has performed well at stages during his five seasons with the Reds so far.
According to Corriere dello Sport, though, he may have already made his mind up when it comes to leaving the European champions.
They claim Roma have made “progress” in their talks with the No. 6, whose representatives have also held meetings with Milan.
He is said to “consider his English cycle closed,” and would be “willing to lower his salary” in order to broker a move to Rome, while he “will work to reduce the demands of the Reds” too.
Liverpool are believed to value Lovren at around £20 million, which would be their biggest sale this summer.