Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly set to battle it out in the summer for Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren.
According to a report from Italian publication La Lazio Siamo Noi, as carried by The Sun, Arsenal are set to go head to head with local rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the race for Liverpool centre-back Dejan Lovren in the summer transfer window.
Lovren has been with Liverpool for almost six years now, having signed from Southampton in the summer of 2014. The Croatian international has made 184 appearances for the Reds during his time at Merseyside, but hasn’t always been entirely reliable at the back, leading to him falling down the pecking order gradually.
In the ongoing campaign, Lovren has featured just 14 times across all competitions, in which he has contributed with a goal and an assist. The 30-year-old has started just one Premier League game since December, which Liverpool lost to Watford – their first and only league defeat of the season so far, following which he was widely criticised.
With just a little over a year left on his current contract with Liverpool, Lovren’s future has been a subject of speculation of late. There had been widespread reports of interest from Italy last summer, but no move materialised. However, with his contract situation being as it is and his current squad status, the Reds might look to cash in on him.
And, according to the aforementioned report, Lovren, who is valued at £18 million by Liverpool, is continuing to attract interest from Serie A. But, Arsenal and Tottenham too have joined the race to try and sign him next summer as both the north London outfits look for defensive reinforcements ahead of the next season.
Arsenal’s defensive issues have been there for all to see throughout the season. While there have been some improvements in recent fixtures, the Gunners’ boss Mikel Arteta would ideally want to bolster his ranks in the summer, especially with David Luiz set to turn 33 next month.
Tottenham, too, have had problems at the back for the entire season, with things failing to improve under Jose Mourinho. Moreover, with Jan Vertonghen’s contract set to expire at the end of the season and there being no signs of a renewal, it makes sense that the Lilywhites are in the market for a new centre-back.
Lovren, though, might not be the best possible addition for either clubs. While he is vastly experienced, the Croat hasn’t exactly been a consistently reliable figure at the back, which is something that both Arsenal and Tottenham need next summer.
It remains to be seen if either of them decide to make a move for the Liverpool man or pursue alternate targets, with Arsenal being linked with Issa Diop recently while Tottenham monitor Real Madrid’s Eder Militao.