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Koeman playing hardball over Liverpool target Lovren

Defender must returning to training, insists new Southampton boss.

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New Southampton manager Ronald Koeman is taking a hard line with rebel centre back Dejan Lovren, according to reports from talkSPORT, with the Dutchman insisting that the Croatian returns to training on time despite his desire to join Liverpool.

Lovren has made clear his desire to move to Anfield, but as of yet the Reds’ valuation of the player seems to be significantly different to that of his current employers on the South Coast.

Koeman will be keen to stem the flow of key players out of St. Mary’s, that has already seen Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana join Liverpool, meaning that it will take a huge fee to prise Lovren away from the club just twelve months after he joined from Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyonnais.

The Dutchman is quoted as saying:

“I spoke to Dejan five days ago. He said it’s a difficult situation and he will have another talk to his agent and the club.”

“Dejan Lovren has a contract. He has to come back this Sunday. I do not know what will happen after this.”

This seems to make it clear that the Croatian international will be expected to continue fulfilling his contractual obligations with the Saints, but stops a long way short of issuing a hands-off warning to Brendan Rodgers and the Reds.

Lovren enjoyed a fine debut campaign in the Premier League after arriving from France, impressing with his solid performances at the heart of the Southampton defence alongside Jose Fonte.

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