Are Saints preparing for sale of Arsenal and Liverpool target Lovren?

Dejan Lovren could be a very realistic target for Arsenal and Liverpool this summer.

Southampton are reportedly keeping a close eye on the situation of Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk which could be a sign they are prepared to sell Arsenal and Liverpool target Dejan Lovren.

Mauricio Pochettino is a straight down the middle, logical coach who is unlikely to let the 24-year-old defender leave unless he has a good quality and long term replacement already lined up.

Arsenal and Liverpool have both been linked with moves for the Croatian central defender at different times throughout the season.

The Saints only signed him from Lyon last summer in a deal worth £8.5 million which means if Arsenal and Liverpool want to do a deal after the World Cup then it could cost them well over the £10 million mark.

Arsenal’s motives for going after him are quite clear because they are short in central defence, an area where Bacary Sagna has already been forced to play this season.

Liverpool’s interest is more difficult to gauge because they are well stocked in central defence with four players who can play in the middle of the back four; Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, Mamadou Sakho and Kolo Toure.

The Saints’ chances of signing van Dijk as a replacement or someone who would allow them to sell Lovren for an enormous profit seem good.

The south coast club had scouts at Celtic’s game against Motherwell last weekend, which proves they are actively watching him and he has a reported fee of around £10 million which is affordable now that the Saints have settled in the Premier League.

This isn’t the first time that a Southampton player has been linked with Arsenal or Liverpool this season and it’s a sign of the quality and consistency that Pochettino has developed within his current squad of players.

Lovren is a very classy and silky type of footballer who impressed at Anfield earlier this season in the 1-0 win for the Saints, three points that few sides have managed to take away from the red half of Merseyside.

That performance seems to have left a lasting impression in the mind of Brendan Rodgers but Arsene Wenger will have a say in things as he’s made a habit of developing classy players during his time in England.

If a bidding war breaks out then the Saints just have to sit back and reap the benefits but only if they have a replacement and only if it becomes clear they can’t hang onto Lovren.

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