Barcelona are reportedly eyeing a shock January move for Liverpool centre-back Dejan Lovren, amid a central defensive crisis at Camp Nou.
According to a report by Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Dejan Lovren has emerged as a shock target for Barcelona, who are eager to sign a centre-back in the January transfer window. The Liverpool superstar is the latest among a long list of defenders who are on the Spanish champions’ radar.
Lovren has endured a roller coaster of a stint at Liverpool, having to put a consistent display over a long period. However, the arrival of Virgil van Dijk earlier this year has proven to be the perfect catalyst for the Croat, who has grown in confidence and stature at Anfield considerably.
The 29-year-old was one of the best defenders at the 2018 World Cup as well, although the latest season has started a little slowly for him. Lovren has only managed to amass a couple of appearances, with Joe Gomez forging a strong partnership alongside van Dijk. But, his progress over the course of this year has earned him a huge admirer in Barcelona.
Barcelona’s pursuit of a centre-back heading into the January transfer window has become well-documented by now. The Blaugrana‘s need for a central defender has especially accentuated in recent weeks, with Ernesto Valverde losing the services of Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen for at least six weeks, if not more.
The absence of the duo means Gerard Pique and summer signing Clement Lenglet remain the only recognised centre-backs at the Barcelona manager’s disposal. With Lenglet still acclimatising to life at Camp Nou, and Pique becoming error prone lately, a new centre-back has become the need of the hour.
Matthijs de Ligt is reportedly the priority for Barcelona. But, it is highly unlikely that the Dutch prodigy will leave Ajax in the middle of the season, which is forcing the Catalans to turn their attention towards short-term options, with Liverpool superstar Lovren being the latest centre-back to emerge as a target.
With game time coming at a premium at the present moment, Barcelona could fancy their chances of turning the player’s head. But, Liverpool will likely be unwilling to part ways with a defender who has become a key player since the turn of the year.
Lovren might even have turned a corner this season after a man-of-the-match performance against Manchester City in Liverpool’s last Premier League game. Should he indeed end up regaining his place as a regular, the Reds’ chances of keeping hold of the Croat could increase, although Barcelona will invariably remain an attractive proposition.
For now, this seems like an interesting rumour, with Barcelona setting their sights on Lovren. It remains to be seen if the Blaugrana go on to launch the offensive for the Croat, which will largely depend on Umtiti’s fitness situation. If so, it will be interesting to see if Liverpool manage to retain the services of their star centre-back.