Dejan Lovren: Southampton boss Koeman wants to keep defender

By Nabil HassanBBC Sport at St Mary's
Koeman knew star trio were leaving

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman says he will do everything he can to keep defender Dejan Lovren at the club.

Lovren, 25, is the subject of a £20m bid from Liverpool and the player has also spoken of his desire to leave.

Koeman says despite Lovren's outburst he still has a place at St Mary's, but admitted that the Croatian's future at the club was uncertain.

"There is always a way forward. He is still a player of Southampton and is a key player," Koeman told BBC Sport.

"We are not a selling club and we will do everything we can to keep those types of players."

Lovren, who was part of the Croatia team that finished third in Group A at the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil, joined the Saints from Lyon for £8.5m last summer. He is currently 12 months into a four-year contract.

Tony Husband, BBC South Today sports editor
"At times it felt a little like Koeman has been left to pick up the pieces as he faced repeated questions about who might follow Southampton's England trio out the door. He was wise to avoid setting specific targets, and promised a strong team would kick off the new season in August. He certainly has the funds and the reputation to attract quality."

Koeman added he had been angered at Lovren going public with his wish to join Liverpool, after the player said: "Frankly, my head is already at Liverpool."

But the former Feyenoord boss said he had not yet fined Lovren, who he expects to return to Southampton on Sunday.

"I have spoken twice to Dejan and he was very clear on his situation," added Koeman.

"I said 'okay' but, as a manager, I like to keep all the best players in the team because he is an important player in and important position.

"We have to do what is best for the club and he has a contract and has to come back on Sunday. After this I do not know what will happen.

"We like to keep this sort of thing in the club and not through the press and this was not a good thing from his side."

Dejan Lovren
Lovren made 32 appearances for Southampton last season, scoring three times

Another player being linked with a move away from St Mary's is Morgan Schneiderlin, but Koeman said there had been no bids for the French midfielder and expected him to be at the club for the new season.

He was less certain of Dani Osvaldo's future after the Italian forward failed to turn up for pre-season training citing illness.

Club-record signing Osvaldo was sent out on loan last term after a training ground bust up with Jose Fonte and Koeman said he will not be on their pre-season tour and will train away from the first team.

"What happened last season I do not know, it's not my problem," added Koeman.

"I like to have a good atmosphere in the team. He was not in Southampton when he was meant to be and I have not spoken to him."

The club lost star trio Rickie Lambert, Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana in the summer and Koeman says he knew of their departures before agreeing to take over from Mauricio Pochettino in June.

So far, the Saints have signed Dusan Tadic for £10.9m and Koeman revealed the club were close to adding Feyenoord forward Graziano Pelle.

He is also confident of improving on last season's eighth-place finish, despite the departure of key players.

"Saints had a fantastic season and we would like to continue that," he said. "We have an ambition to go forward."