Which Merseyside club will win the race for this Croatian defender?

Both Liverpool and Everton are reportedly interested in signing Lyon's Dejan Lovren this summer, with each English side in need of fresh blood at the back. Which of them can tempt Lovren to Merseyside?

With Jamie Carragher retiring and Sebastian Coates still looking a long way from ready to start for Liverpool, it was clear that Brendan Rodgers would be looking at bringing in a new centre back in the summer.

But Liverpool are not the only team on Merseyside in need of fresh blood in their defence, with Everton still relying on 35-year-old Sylvain Distin and the increasingly erratic Jonny Heitinga at the back, and it looks like both sides might have decided Dejan Lovren would be the best man for the job.

There is little doubt that Lovren would be an excellent signing for either side. At 23, the Croatian is rated as one of the most promising centre backs in Europe, and Liverpool and Everton will likely only get a chance to sign him if Barcelona drop their rumoured interest in the player.

Lovren would also fit the budgets of both sides, with Lyon's continuing financial woes meaning they will listen to reasonable bids for their star players this summer.

Lovren is a tall and powerful centre back, but also highly capable at playing the ball out from the back, something that will have caught Brendan Rodger's eye in particular with some of his current defenders not always looking the most comfortable on the ball in his possession based system.

Lovren also has plenty of experience for a relatively young defender, having been a regular for Lyon in domestic and European football for the past two seasons, and also now established in the Croatian national team.

Whilst Liverpool and Everton no doubt have lots of options in their hunt for new defenders, Lovren would surely be one of their main targets if there was a chance they could sign him.

Everton will hope that if they can secure European football next seasons whilst their neighbours can't, they will be the more attractive option for potential summer signings, but there is every chance both clubs will have several rivals if they pursue Lovren, who could end up being one of the big moves of the coming summer.

image: © Nigel Wilson

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