Dejan Lovren joined Liverpool from Southampton in the same summer as Adam Lallana, and he now appears set for a similar decision to his long-term team-mate.
The duo were part of the initial cohort to make the switch from St Mary’s to Anfield in 2014, along with Rickie Lambert, and were later followed by Nathaniel Clyne, Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk.
It was a connection that was derided in same quarters both at the time and in the years to follow, but one that has largely paid off for the Reds.
Only Lambert failed to establish himself as a staple on Merseyside—and the striker was never expected to—with the remaining five all making over 100 appearances for the club.
Lovren has so far tallied the most, with 184, but may not pass the double-century mark with his future up in the air heading towards the end of the campaign.
According to the Mail‘s Dominic King, there have been “no discussions” over a possible extension of his contract.
This is despite the Croatian entering the final 18 months of his deal, which expires in 2021—a stage in which the club often approach a player and his representatives regarding new terms.
The 30-year-old should be under no illusion, therefore, that these are his final years with the Reds, but Lovren still has two options to weigh up.
King claims that “Klopp has a strong relationship with Lovren and would be happy to keep him until the end of his deal as one of his four central defensive options,” similar to the position he has taken with Lallana.
Though Lallana’s spell with Liverpool is set to extend further than expected due to the suspension of the Premier League season, he is seeing out the last months of his current contract before departing on a free transfer in the next window.
Lovren could opt to do the same for next season, staying as part of the squad and, likely, playing a reasonable amount of games due to regular injury issues to the likes of Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.
But it is more realistic that, if that is the scenario set to him, he will choose to depart, with AS Roma among those linked with a move.
Either way, King notes that the coronavirus pandemic has seen the club put all talks over contracts and possible signings on hold, which has impacted negotiations over a new deal for Gini Wijnaldum.
There will be no resolution to Lovren’s situation at this stage, but it will be interesting to see whether he decides to stay or go in the coming months.