Liverpool are close to finalising a deal for the Croatia defender Dejan Lovren, who would become the third Southampton player to join Brendan Rodgers’ team this summer, following the transfers of the England internationals Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana.

The new Southampton manager, Ronald Koeman, does not want the centre-half to depart and said he will go only for a healthy price. Liverpool’s offer is believed to be around £16m.

Koeman has also viewed Aston Villa’s Ron Vlaar as a direct replacement after the Aston Villa player impressed during Holland’s run to the World Cup semi-finals. “I don’t want to lose him but, if he leaves he will only go for a top price,” Koeman said. “Ron would definitely be an option but I think he won’t be cheap right now. We just have to wait and see how it develops.”

The France striker Loïc Rémy is due to fly to Boston on Monday, where Liverpool are currently on a pre-season tour, to undergo a medical before his proposed £8m move from QPR, while Divock Origi has told Lille he, too, wants to move to Anfield and could also travel to Boston for a medical this week. The 18-year-old impressed for Belgium at the World Cup, scoring a late winning goal against Russia.