Dejan Lovren is focusing entirely on his own progress during pre-season amid ongoing speculation linking Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool.
Strong interest in the Dutch central-defender has hinted that Lovren’s starting spot may be under the threat, yet the Croatian is paying no attention to possible signings and is instead working hard to get himself in peak condition.
The 28-year-old faces his biggest season yet with the Reds given the prospect of Champions League football and the fixation on Liverpool’s need to improve defensively.
It seems Lovren himself is fully aware of just how important the upcoming campaign is and eager to ensure he is capable of playing a key role.
When discussing Liverpool’s pursuit of Van Dijk, he told the Daily Mail: “I can’t talk about that. I am just concentrating on Liverpool and my fitness. I think the biggest thing is to improve my fitness.”
“It is pre-season but the most important thing is to be free of injuries. I want to be 100 per cent.”
“I just need some consistency. Last season something happened like an injury or illness and then it was two steps back and I needed a good run to be back in shape so I am preparing myself as best I can.”
“I have said many times I am very proud Liverpool believe in me and they have given me a chance to work here. It is a pleasure to be with such a talented squad.”
Lovren looked impressive at times for Liverpool during the 2016/2017 season but often saw his good form disrupted by injuries to not only himself but also defensive partner Joel Matip, who he appeared to build a strong partnership with and thrive alongside.
The pair remain Klopp’s first choice centre-back duo, although it remains to be seen whether or not the Reds will step up their pursuit of Van Dijk.
Regardless of what happens, Lovren is ready for the right, which is exactly what his manager will be wanting from him.