Barcelona join race to sign Dejan Lovren
Barcelona have joined the race to sign Southampton defender Dejan Lovren. It is understood that the Camp Nou side are chasing Croatian international defender Lovren as a long term replacement for Carles Puyol, who retired from football last season.
The impressive Southampton centre back has attracted the attention of numerous Premier League clubs this summer and several coaches such as Jose Mourinho, Louis Van Gaal and Mauricio Pochettino have been keeping an eye on the defender during the World Cup.
In Croatia's opening game defeat against Brazil, Lovren gave away a contentious penalty after Brazilian defender Fred fell under a challenge from the burly Croatian. Japanese refereee Yuichi Nishimura controversially gave the penalty for the challenge. Despite that, Lovren did prove to be in good form during the Croat's first game of the World Cup.
Barcelona are believed to have already made an enquiry to the South England club for Lovren and are set to bid a reported 24 million Euros for the centre back.
Amongst the teams scouting Lovren include Tottenham, who are looking to replace Michael Dawson this summer and Man Utd, who are actively seeking a replacement for Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic this summer. Meanwhile, Liverpool are also looking for a new centre back having seemingly lost faith in first choice centre back Martin Skrtel. Arsenal are also rumoured to have expressed some interest in Lovren, despite having three excellent defensive choices in Thomas Vermaelen, Per Mertesacker and French international Laurent Koscielny. Rumours indicate that Arsene Wenger could move for Lovren as a replacement for Thomas Vermaelen, now third choice centre back, who could move to Serie A giants Napoli once the World Cup has finished.
Lovren is currently preparing for Croatia's next World Cup game against Cameroon on the 18th of June.