Football

Wantaway Lovren joins Saints tour

Croatian defender Dejan Lovren has joined the Southampton team for their pre-season tour in Belgium despite his recent admissions that his heart is no longer at the club.

The 25-year-old had said that his "head is already at Liverpool" in light of reports that the Anfield club had submitted a £20 million (42.5m) bid for him.

He told the Sportske Novosti in Croatia: "Liverpool sent the offer and the club haven't informed me.

"'Not even about the subsequent Liverpool bids. That wasn't right.

"I found out about the bid from other people which disappointed me, and I realised I've got no business staying at Southampton.

"Frankly, my head is already at Liverpool."

"Look, I'd gladly stay in Southampton if the club had any ambitions, if they kept the key players. (If that had happened) not even the Liverpool bid would have dissuaded me."

INSISTED

Those comments did not sit well with new Saints boss Ronald Koeman who reportedly insisted that the 25-year-old join the tour despite the fact he is likely to leave the club.

"That (public comment about Liverpool) was not a good thing," said the Dutchman on Saturday.

"I spoke two times to Dejan.

"He was very clear about his situation. I said: 'Okay, I am the new manager, I'd like to keep all the players'.

"I'd like to keep Dejan in the team because he is an important player in an important position in the team.

"He has to come back on Sunday."

And Lovren seems to have obeyed his manager's orders with Southampton posting a photo of him travelling to Belgium on the club's official Twitter account yesterday.

The Saints have already seen England internationals Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert leave in the close season.

Koeman has since signed winger Dusan Tadic and forward Graziano Pelle from Dutch clubs Twente and Feyenoord, respectively.

- Wire Services.