Southampton manager Ronald Koeman says that he is willing to keep Dejan Lovren at the club, despite his public agitation for a move to Liverpool.

The Croatian centre-back is understood to have requested a transfer, and was left angered when the Reds’ £20m offer for his signature was dismissed.

Lovren declared that his head was “already at Liverpool” in the aftermath of the incident, which led to claims that he would not be returning for the Saints’ pre-season preparations.

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However the defender has linked up with the squad, but reports suggest that he still wants to join Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert at Anfield before the new season starts.

Although he confessed that his star’s behaviour has been below expectations, Koeman says that he wants Lovren to stay:

“A player shouldn’t say something like that, it’s not very proper,” he is quoted by Goal.

“We just have to wait (to see) how it develops. For now, Dejan can still play with us. I don’t want to lose him but, if he leaves, he will only go for a top price.”

However, Koeman says that Aston Villa’s Ron Vlaar is a potential replacement:

“Ron would definitely be an option,

“although I think he won’t be cheap right now. Well, let’s just wait and see.”

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