Liverpool Opinion: The Reds should not hesitate to cash in on Dejan Lovren amidst AC Milan links
According to the Express, Liverpool centre-back Dejan Lovren has been lined up as a potential transfer target by Serie A giants AC Milan but the Reds have slapped a £25million price tag on the 29-year-old Croatian international.
The same source claims that Liverpool are not going to push Lovren away from Anfield, given that the 29-year-old is one of the longest-serving players at the club. However, the Reds might be forced to rethink their stance should Milan table a bid that they simply can’t refuse.
Lovren, who made his move to Liverpool from Southampton back in 2014 for a fee of £20 million, played a key role for the club at the heart of the defence in his first four seasons but he fell out of favour since the start of the 2018-19 campaign, with Klopp preferring the partnership of Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk at the back.
The long-term injury to Gomez opened the door for the 29-year-old to reclaim his spot in the team but he failed to do so, thanks to his fair share of problems with injuries.
Cameroonian international Joe Matip played a more significant role for the Champions League winners at the back this past season, with the 27-year-old featuring 22 times in the Premier League, as compared to Lovren’s 13 league appearances.
However, Lovren continues to be one of the most esteemed figures at Anfield, having made a total of 170 appearances for the Reds in all competitions till date.
Lovren didn’t look at his sparkling best in the Premier League last season and the Croatian struggled for form and fitness over the entire course of the campaign, as the Reds clinched the Champions League title and finished runners-up to Man City in the league.
With Virgil van Dijk establishing himself as a world-class centre-back at Liverpool and youngster Joe Gomez winning the trust of manager Jurgen Klopp, it looks unlikely that the 29-year-old Croatian will play a significant role for the Reds next season, unless there is a grave injury crisis.
Joel Matip did exceptionally well against the likes of Bayern Munich and Real Madrid in the Champions League and it looks like the Cameroonian is way ahead of Lovren in the race to establish himself as the third-choice centre-back in Liverpool’s ranks.
As things stand, Lovren is in danger of slipping down to fourth in the centre-back ranks at Anfield next season, and that could possibly see him make only a few sporadic appearances.
To put things into perspective, Liverpool have a reputation of playing hardball in the market even with the potential suitors for some of their less important players. The Reds pocketed £15 million and £26 million from the sales of Jordon Ibe and Mamadou Sakho to Bournemouth and Crystal Palace respectively and it looks like that they are going to do the same with Lovren.
In all honesty, Liverpool do not need to make too many changes to their ranks this summer, especially after spending a fortune last time around.
The Reds enjoyed a hugely successful campaign last term and it makes perfect sense for them to stay away from making any marquee signings. The Champions League victory over Spurs would certainly have boosted Liverpool’s transfer kitty and the potential sale of Lovren to AC Milan would also add some more valuable funds.
Liverpool should consider themselves lucky if Milan decide to go ahead and meet their £25 million asking price for Lovren, which would see the Reds pocket a profit of £5 million from the Croatian’s sale.
Given that he is already 29, Liverpool would hardly get a better chance to make a profit by selling him, and with Lovren struggling for form and fitness, the Reds should definitely consider getting him off their books.
Lovren is unlikely to play a massive role next term and Liverpool should look to try and reinvest the funds from his sale in a young and talented defender, with a view to grooming him for a future first-team role.
Having already spent a fortune to build a first team full of international stars, the Reds now need to focus on bringing in promising youngsters to build a strong platform for continued success.
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The 29-year-old is at a point in his career where his powers are going to wane very soon and Liverpool can certainly do without him in their ranks next season.
Taking the aforementioned factors into consideration, offloading him for a sizeable fee would be a smart piece of business for the Reds.