Dejan Lovren close to Liverpool exit after fee agreed with Zenit


Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren is close to signing for Zenit St Petersburg for a fee of £10.9m.

The Times report that a deal has almost been struck for the centre-back after Liverpool agreed a fee of 12m after a week of talks.

Liverpool recently took up an option to extend the Croatia international’s contract by 12 months to 2022, protecting his value.

Zenit are believed to have thought the 31-year-old was entering the final 12 months of his career and were hoping for a cut-price deal.

According to Russian journalist Andrey Pankov, of Russia outlet Championship, they thought Lovren could make the move as a free agent.

However, that was not the case and they have been locked in talks with Anfield officials for the last month, and are understood to have come to a financial agreement with the Reds.

Lovren is expected to complete a move to Russia when the transfer window officially opens on July 27.

The centre-back, who signed from Southampton for £20m in 2014, has made 185 appearances for Liverpool. But he has fallen down to fourth choice centre-back in the pecking order under Jurgen Klopp and has made just 10 Premier League appearances this term.

Klopp convinced him to stay

Lovren almost left last summer with Roma and AC Milan interested in him.

But last September, Lovren admitted Klopp convinced him to stay at Anfield for another season.

“I wanted to leave, it didn’t happen, I was told Liverpool need me and I accepted that,” he said.

“It was not meant to be for me to leave.”

Klopp will now be pondering whether he needs to find a replacement for Lovren or to stick with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.

READ MORE: Carragher puts his finger on Lovren’s big problem at Liverpool