Liverpool are poised to revive their interest in Southampton centre-half Dejan Lovren in the summer after he opted to move to St Mary’s instead of Anfield last season.
The Mirror report Brendan Rodgers to be ‘lining up a summer swoop’ for the 24-year-old former Lyon man as he aims to sure-up a defence that has shipped as many goals as Crystal Palace this term.
Rodgers steers the good ship in the direction of Upton Park, where his side go in search of their third successive away win to nil, in their next fixture.
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Lovren has played a leading role in a Saints rearguard some 13 concessions better off than they were at this stage last season, however he’s likely to cost Liverpool a good deal more than the £8.5m his current employers paid for his services.
Here are three Premier League alternatives who could lay claim to the title of best centre-half outside of the traditional top seven.
Only Martin Skrtel has bettered Davies for defensive actions completed in Premier League action this season, with the Hull skipper’s lack of England recognition baffling.
His manager Steve Bruce, who will know a thing or two about being overlooked by the Three Lions, has trusted him to squire a defence through a brain-scrambling nine different formations this year.
Few Bluebirds players have done much to enhance their reputations this term, but Caulker, whose willingness to put his body on the line means he leads the league for shots blocked, is one of them.
Only three Premier League players have claimed more man of the match awards this term than the 22-year-old, who has also found time to outscore all bar two of his teammates thanks to his aerial strength at set pieces.
It’s hard to believe that the Manchester United product is still only 26, with the Stoke man in his seventh season as first-choice centre-half at the Britannia.
During that he has been one the cornerstones of the Potters’ famously pragmatic defence, one which conceded the seventh fewest goals in the division last season.