Arsenal FC have joined Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur in the race to sign Southampton defender Dejan Lovren.

Dejan Lovren is likely to be the next name on the list of exodus from Southampton this summer. The Saints have already lost Rickie Lambert to Liverpool and Luke Shaw to Manchester United, along with their manager Mauricio Pochettino, who has taken over at Tottenham. Their captain Adam Lallana is also on his way to Anfield and now reports suggest that Lovren could be the next name to leave St Mary’s Stadium.

The 24-year-old Croatian defender joined the English club from Lyon last year and formed a wonderful partnership with Jose Fonte as Southampton finished eighth in the Premier League and had the fifth best defensive record. His performances have seen him draw interest from Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, but latest reports suggest that Arsenal are now in pole position to sign the former Lyon defender.

Arsene Wenger is expected to spend heavily in this transfer market and signing a new center back is in his priority list. While Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny remain their first choice central defensive pairing, Wenger will need to sign another center back in order to add more depth to the squad.

The future of Thomas Vermaelen has come under a lot of speculations with reports suggest that the Belgium international could be on his way to join Manchester United. That would leave Arsenal thin at the back as Bacary Sagna, who has joined Manchester City this summer, was the only other player in the first team squad who could have put in a shift as a center back if needed.

Wenger is believed to keen on signing Lovren, but he will face competition from Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. Former Southampton manager Mouricio Pochettino is interested in signing the Croatian center back, while Brendan Rodgers is looking to add more depth the defence, especially with question marks over Daniel Agger’s future at the club.

Southampton won’t be too willing to part ways with another of their first team player, having already lost three of them. They will be hoping that new manager Ronald Koeman can convince Lovren against leaving the club with his plans for the summer. Koeman isa believed to have been promised a big transfer budget in this window in order to replace the departing stars. But reports suggest that Lovren is planning to hand over a transfer request in order to push through a move from Southampton.