Liverpool target no closer to move after heading out on tour

The Reds' top defensive target has already stated a desire to move to Anfield, but has joined up with his current teammates on their pre-season tour.

Despite expressing disappointment in his club's handling of interest from Liverpool, Southampton centre back Dejan Lovren is remaining on the books of the South Coast side for the immediate future, after joining his Saints teammates on their tour of Belgium.

The Croatia defender, who enjoyed an excellent debut season in English football at St Mary's last season, had looked set to be the third Southampton player to move to Anfield this summer, after claiming: "Frankly, my head is already at Liverpool. They are one of the biggest clubs in the world."

The difference now is Southampton are aware that Liverpool's transfer coffers are significantly swelled following Luis Suarez's move to Barcelona.

With the Reds' offer of £20 million being turned down, and Southampton demanding an offer they can't refuse before sanctioning a sale, the defender returned from World Cup duty still very much a Saints player, as proved by the club's Twitter account picturing him arriving in Belgium.

Even though the defender is safely in abroad with the club, new boss Southampton Ronald Koeman has previously stated he would like to keep the player, while admitting it may not be an easy job to do so. 

"There is always a way forward. He is still a player of Southampton and is a key player," the Dutchman told BBC Sport recently.

"We are not a selling club and we will do everything we can to keep those types of players.

"I have spoken twice to Dejan and he was very clear on his situation," added Koeman.

"I said 'okay' but, as a manager, I like to keep all the best players in the team because he is an important player in and important position.

"We have to do what is best for the club and he has a contract and has to come back on Sunday. After this I do not know what will happen."

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