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Liverpool target Lovren not for sale, insists Koeman

ESPN staff
July 12, 2014 « Mourinho: Messi not the greatest of all time | Rashid's burst takes Yorkshire top »
Dejan Lovren impressed for Southampton last season © Getty Images
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Ronald Koeman insists that Southampton have no intention of selling Dejan Lovren - despite the defender saying his "head is already at Liverpool."

Southampton recently rejected a £20 million Liverpool bid for Lovren, while Morgan Schneiderlin has also been linked with a move away from the club with the likes of Tottenham and Arsenal reportedly interested.

However, new Saints boss Koeman said that after selling Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw, he was not planning for any more departures.

"We said: 'Okay, this is it - we are not a selling club.' The players have contracts. We don't sell any more players and we will try keep to that," Koeman said.

"We sold three players - that's good enough money. Now we will keep the rest and we will continue with what we did last season.

"I know Liverpool have a lot of money and they will spend that money and maybe they want to buy a player from Southampton.

"But as manager of Southampton I have to do everything to keep those players. The final decision is with the board."

Lovren had spoken in the Croatian press about his desire to move to Anfield, saying he was concerned that Southampton were showing a lack of ambition, but is due to return to the south coast on Sunday.

Koeman said: "I spoke to Dejan twice and he was very clear about his situation. I want to keep all the good players - I want to keep Dejan in the team because he is an important player.

"We have to do what the best is for the club. He has a contract, he has to come back this Sunday but I don't know what will happen after this. It's football and there is a lot of movement, but first of all we like to keep all that information in the club and not in the press.

"That was not a good thing from his side - I wasn't happy with his comments in the press. That is not good for the club, for the rest of the players or for himself, and we will speak about whether to fine him or not."

Koeman said it was his duty to convince the remaining players that Southampton was still a club moving forward.

"That message is important, because it is one thing is to say we are ambitious and it is another thing to be ambitious. We need some more time in this pre-season to show that to the players," he said.

"The rest of the players have to keep that ambition. I spoke to some of the more experienced players like Jose Fonte and Steven Davis because they have to keep that positivity in the dressing room.

"I promised them, and I promise the fans, that when we start the season we will have a very good team."

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