Fred: Liverpool target's challenge was a clear penalty

The Brazil international clearly felt the referee got the decision right in the game with Croatia, with Lovren adjudged to have fouled him in the box.

Fluminese striker Fred has responded to claims he made the most of Southampton defender Dejan Lovren's challenge to win a penalty in Brazil's win over Croatia.

Though many watching disagreed with him and Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura, the forward was adamant that he was on the receiving end of a foul from the Liverpool linked defender.

“It was a clear penalty," said Fred. "There isn’t more or less a penalty.

"I controlled the ball with my right foot and I was turning left when I was bumped into the shoulder, I couldn't reach the ball, lost balance and fell.

“I am not the kind of player that falls down. The same thing happened in the (friendly) game against Serbia, and even on the ground I reached the ball to score a goal.

"I heard many people saying it wasn't a penalty, but I was bumped into and that was enough to prevent me from reaching the ball and scoring.”

Saints centre back Lovren is said to be very much on the radar of Premier League runners up Liverpool after an outstanding first season in England.

He played 33 times for the South Coast club, scoring 3 times, and is also said to be interesting Barcelona and Tottenham.

The Croatian was said to have submitted a transfer request before the World Cup began, with Southampton suffering in the fall out of Mauricio Pochettino's departure to Spurs and rumours that a whole of host of players will follow Rickie Lambert out of the exit door.

And aside from the controversial penalty decision against Fred, the former Lyon player put in an impressive performance against Brazil. It is unlikely such a challenge would be given in the Premier League, so Reds fans shouldn't worry too much if they do sign the 24-year-old.

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