Southampton sign Lovren from Lyon
Lyon have sold defender Dejan Lovren to Southampton, who was reportedly a summer transfer target for Liverpool, for €10 million.
The Croatian international centre-back has signed a four-year deal at St Mary's to become the first signing for Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino.
"I’ve spoken a lot with the chairman and the coach, and this is a great project," Lovren told the club's official website.
"They told me a lot of positive things, and I know the history of the club. It’s a big club and I’m very happy that I can be a part of it.
"After three-and-a-half years in France, it was a dream to play in the Premier League. Now the dream has come true.
"I have it in my mind to do something big, and I see the same thing in the club.
"We are a young team, and I am a young player also so I hope I will stay here for a long time."
I'm very happy to announce that I will now play for Southampton. I want to thank the Lyon fans and Lyon for everything. GO SAINTS! #sanitsfc— Dejan Lovren (@DejanLovren05) June 14, 2013
Lovren had fallen out of favour at the Stade de Gerland and had not played for OL since the publication of critical comments he made about the club in the Croatian press in April.
The 23-year-old, who was picked up from Dinamo Zagreb in January 2010, still had another three years left on his OL deal.
He made 102 appearances for the seven-time Ligue 1 champions, though never managed to pin down a regular first-team place under Remi Garde or his predecessor, Claude Puel.
The press release announcing Lovren's move, which provides a good chunk of the €25 million OL are looking for this summer to balance their books, added the departure of certain players and the offering of contracts to young prospects was now the financially-limited OL's modus operandum.
"These different movements fit into the policy the club has been committed to the last two years, which aims to rely on the youth academy and develop new talents who take on the values of the club," the release noted.