France came from behind to defeat Croatia 4-2 in a replay of the 2018 World Cup final on Tuesday.

Didier Deschamps' side won by the same scoreline when the teams met in Moscow two years ago and they came out on top again in the Nations League Group A3 clash at the Stade de France.

A fine strike from Dejan Lovren put the visitors in front, but Antoine Griezmann struck and Dominik Livakovic scored an unfortunate own goal in the space of three first-half minutes to turn the game around.

Substitute Josip Brekalo restored parity after the restart, only for Dayot Upamecano's header and a penalty from Olivier Giroud to keep Les Bleus level with Portugal at the top of the group.

Mohamed Salah paid tribute to his close friend Dejan Lovren in a video message after the defender sealed a transfer from Liverpool to Zenit.

Lovren joined the Reds from Southampton in 2014 and helped star signing Salah settle on Merseyside three years later when he left Roma.

The duo subsequently won the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup and Premier League together at Anfield, the most recent triumph finally ending the club's 30-year wait to be crowned champions of England.

However, Lovren has played a diminished role in the past two campaigns, starting just 10 league matches, and completed a move to Zenit on Monday after Liverpool's title-winning campaign concluded.

Liverpool published a message from Salah to Lovren on their social media page.

The forward said: "I don't know how to say, my friend. You don't know my feeling right now. We're really going to miss you a lot - especially me.

"You've been an unbelievable player and a great friend for me. We're going to miss you a lot. I miss you a lot, I love you so much. You've been fantastic outside the field and inside the field.

"So, thank you for everything you did for the club, thank you for everything you did for me. I wish you all the best in the future and I wish you to have a great career as well, enjoying the new club with your family.

"Thank you very much and see you soon."

Lovren, described by Jurgen Klopp as a "Liverpool legend", has signed a three-year deal at Zenit, who reportedly paid around €12million for the 31-year-old.

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren has joined Russian Premier League side Zenit on a three-year deal.

The 31-year-old joined the new English Premier League champions in 2014 from Southampton and went on to make 185 appearances for the Merseyside club, scoring eight goals.

The Croatia international enjoyed a trophy-laden final two seasons at the club, winning the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup and Premier League.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp told the Reds' official website: "Another Liverpool legend has left the club, because he was absolutely a very important part of this team.

"From the first day, I remember when we played with [Borussia] Dortmund against Liverpool in a pre-season friendly and Dejan scored with a header with incredible power. That was the image in my mind when I came here and thought about the defenders we had.

"A great player, great person. We will miss him; he's a model athlete. He has everything you need. But now he goes to Russia."

Zenit have reportedly paid around €12million for the centre-back.

Manchester United are reportedly keeping an eye on Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak, while Real Madrid want to raise €180million in transfer funds.

Amid pressure on David de Gea, United could look elsewhere for a goalkeeper.

It seems one of the world's best is on their radar.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD CONSIDER OBLAK

Manchester United are keeping tabs on Atletico Madrid star Oblak, according to The Sun.

Oblak, 27, is widely considered one of the world's best goalkeepers after starring across six seasons at Atletico.

The speculation comes with De Gea under pressure at Old Trafford following several mistakes this season.

 

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- Real Madrid want to raise funds in the transfer market. Marca reports they are looking to make €180m, with James Rodriguez and Luka Jovic potentially making exits. It says a potential move for Gareth Bale, who is contracted until 2022, is more complicated.

- Kingsley Coman is reportedly a target for Manchester United. However, Sport Bild reports Bayern Munich rejected an approach from Manchester City for the attacker and they would do likewise to United.

- At rivals Barcelona, the focus seems to be on renewing some young stars. Sport reports the LaLiga giants are trying to re-sign Ansu Fati, Ronald Araujo, Riqui Puig and Alex Collado.

- Manchester United want to resolve the futures of Alexis Sanchez and Chris Smalling. Sky Sports reports the Premier League club will not extend the loans of Sanchez, at Inter, and Smalling, at Roma, but are looking to seal permanent deals. Meanwhile, the Daily Record says United want to remain informed about offers for Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes.

- Amid speculation over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal may need a forward this close season. Le 10 Sport reports the Premier League club are considering a move for Wolves star Raul Jimenez.

- Victor Osimhen is set for Napoli. CalcioMercato reports a deal for the Lille forward is done and Napoli will pay €60m for the Nigeria international.

- After six seasons at Liverpool, Dejan Lovren is reportedly set for an exit. The Guardian reports the Croatian defender is close to joining Zenit for €12m (£10.9m).

What does the future hold for PSG stars Kylian Mbappe and Neymar?

Real Madrid have made no secret of their admiration for Mbappe, while Barcelona have tried to re-sign Neymar.

As PSG prepare for the 2020-21 campaign, the Ligue 1 holders have made some transfer decisions.

 

TOP STORY – PSG KEEPING MBAPPE, MAKE NEYMAR DECISION

Paris Saint-Germain will not sell Kylian Mbappe ahead of the 2020-21 season but Neymar's future remains uncertain, according to L'Equipe.

Mbappe has been tipped to make the move to Real Madrid in the future, however, Ligue 1 champions PSG have no intention of parting with the France international before next season.

But Neymar – continually linked with a return to Barcelona after leaving in a world-record transfer in 2017 – could leave as PSG look to avoid losing the Brazilian star on a free transfer in 2022.

 

ROUND-UP

Chelsea are preparing their first offer for Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz. Journalist Nicolo Schira reports Chelsea will make a £62million (€70m) bid plus add-ons for Havertz amid interest from Madrid, Manchester United, Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Barca. To fund the transfer, Chelsea will look to sell Inter target Emerson Palmieri, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Jorginho, who would like to reunite with Maurizio Sarri at Juventus.

Luke Shaw could be sacrificed as United look to sign Leicester City's Ben Chilwell, claims the Mirror. United have reportedly leapfrogged Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester City in the race for full-back Chilwell.

- Gazzetta dello Sport says Inter are interested in Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante, who has also been linked to Madrid.

Willian has turned down a move to David Beckham's Inter Miami, reports the Telegraph. Willian's Chelsea contract expires at the end of the season and he has been linked to Liverpool, United, Arsenal and Tottenham.

- Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren is wanted by Russian champions Zenit, according to the Evening Standard.

- Calciomercato says Juventus are not the only club eyeing Roma star Nicolo Zaniolo. Jose Mourinho reportedly wants the Italy international at Tottenham, while Madrid and United are also believed to be interested.

- The Express claims Chelsea are stepping up their pursuit of United goalkeeper and Sheffield United loanee Dean Henderson. Chelsea are ready to ask Manchester United for a price as Kepa Arrizabalaga struggles in London.

Lionel Messi is reportedly set to re-sign with Barcelona.

The Argentina star is out of contract at Camp Nou next year, but is seemingly set to extend his stay with the LaLiga giants a little longer.

Messi, 32, has spent his entire professional career at Barcelona – and he may yet end up a one-club player.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI TO EXTEND BARCELONA CONTRACT UNTIL 2023

Messi will extend his contract at Barcelona until 2023, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The report says the forward will get to decide if he wants to leave the club before then.

Messi is enjoying another fine season with Barcelona, scoring 26 goals in 33 games in all competitions.

ROUND-UP

- Tottenham want to hold onto their stars. The Telegraph reports chairman Daniel Levy is eager to keep Spurs' best players, including Harry Kane – who has been linked to Real Madrid – and Dele Alli and Son Heung-min.

- It remains to be seen if Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will stay at Arsenal. CalcioMercato reports the forward – out of contract until 2021 – is open to a move to Inter, but the Gabon international is not among the Serie A club's top choices if they need to replace Lautaro Martinez, who is wanted by Barcelona.

- Madrid are reportedly eager to sign Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga. But Sport says the Ligue 1 club are working to extend the the 17-year-old's contract, with his deal running until 2022.

- Liverpool could be set to make changes. The Sun reports Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi and Dejan Lovren could make exits, while Marko Grujic and Harry Wilson may leave on permanent deals. It also says Liverpool are set to give Naby Keita one more season to prove his worth.

- Borussia Dortmund seem some way off landing Birmingham City teenager Jude Bellingham. Bild reports the Bundesliga club have offered just a little more than €20million (£17.9m) for Bellingham, who reportedly has a release clause of €35m (£31.4m).

- Empoli midfielder Samuele Ricci is reportedly catching the eye. CalcioMercato says Milan have kept an eye on the 18-year-old, while Napoli and Borussia Dortmund are also said to be interested.

Kalidou Koulibaly's future remains a talking point and Liverpool are reportedly in "pole position" to sign the Napoli defender.

Koulibaly, 28, has been linked with a move amid reported interest from several of Europe's biggest clubs.

And it seems a Koulibaly-Virgil van Dijk central defensive pairing is getting closer at Anfield.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL IN 'POLE POSITION' TO SIGN KOULIBALY

Liverpool are in pole position to sign Koulibaly after Paris Saint-Germain withdrew their interest, according to Le 10 Sport.

With Manchester United having also reportedly withdrawn from the race, Jurgen Klopp's side and Newcastle United – pending takeover – could land the defender.

Koulibaly is contracted at Napoli until 2023 and it will reportedly take an offer of £88.4million (€100m) to land the defender.

ROUND-UP

- PSG do seemingly want to hold onto Mauro Icardi beyond the end of his loan from Inter. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports PSG are willing to offer Julian Draxler as part of a deal for Icardi, who joined with a €70m purchase option.

- Staying at PSG and the Ligue 1 giants are looking to sign Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali, according to Le 10 Sport. Tonali has been linked heavily with a move to Juventus.

- t seemed Barcelona and Juventus were preparing for a swap deal. But Goal reports an exchange involving Barca midfielder Arthur and Juventus' Miralem Pjanic is off, with the LaLiga giants also wanting money for the 23-year-old Brazil international.

- Dries Mertens is drawing plenty of attention with his contract at Napoli expiring at the end of the season. Mundo Deportivo reports PSG have joined Atletico Madrid, Inter and Chelsea in a fight for the forward.

- Also with Inter, the Serie A club are still considering forward Jonathan David, according to CalcioMercato. David, 20, has scored 23 goals in 40 games for Gent this season.

- With his loan deal at Roma ending, Chris Smalling looks set to return to Manchester United. Corriere dello Sport reports Roma are considering Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren and Barcelona's Jean-Clair Todibo, who is on loan at Schalke, to replace Smalling.

Dejan Lovren believes Liverpool can still get better as he talked up the balance of the Premier League leaders' squad.

Jurgen Klopp's men were 25 points clear at the top when the Premier League season was suspended last month due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Coming off last season's Champions League success, Liverpool are on track to add another trophy to their collection.

Lovren, 30, still believes Klopp's side can improve, praising the make-up of the squad.

"It's important to have a mix between really young players, the middle [age] players and the experienced players. I think we have it, this is the great balance," the Croatian defender told the club's website.

"We are used to playing big finals and the big games and we know how to manage it. Even when we are 1-0 down we know what to do. This is why it's important to have a balance in the team.

"If we keep the important players and the core of the team here for many years, we will only grow."

Despite earning 97 points in the Premier League last season, Liverpool fell one short of Manchester City.

But Lovren hailed Liverpool's desire as they moved on track for a first league title in 30 years by winning 27 of 29 Premier League games in 2019-20.

"It's a learning process. The core of the team is here, starting from the manager – he did a great job here from the beginning. He showed everyone that he has the abilities and the skills and he knows how to manage the team in bad moments and in good moments," he said.

"We didn't stop work, that's the main point – we stayed hungry. This is what he brought to us. We are always hungry and will stay hungry.

"Once you try a good meal, you want to try it again – you don't stop. This is what is pushing us. We want to show to everyone what we are capable of."

Liverpool have reportedly put their plans to sign Timo Werner on hold, while Paulo Dybala's future could be clearer soon.

Werner, 24, was heavily linked with a move to Liverpool from RB Leipzig, but the coronavirus pandemic may have changed that.

Meanwhile, Dybala's future is set to be clear shortly.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL PUT WERNER PLANS ON HOLD

Liverpool have put their plans to sign Werner on hold and also stopped contract talks due to coronavirus, according to The Daily Mail.

There is uncertainty over the financial statuses of sporting clubs around the world due to coronavirus and Liverpool are waiting until there is greater clarity.

Star midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and defender Dejan Lovren are among the Liverpool players out of contract in 2021.

One club seemingly not prepared to wait are Juventus, with CalcioMercato reporting Dybala is getting closer to a contract extension with the Serie A giants.

 

ROUND-UP

- Luka Modric is going nowhere. AS claims the midfielder will see out his contract, which runs until 2021, at Real Madrid. Just what Madrid's midfield looks like next season remains to be seen. Sport says Madrid will let James Rodriguez leave and bring Martin Odegaard back from his loan spell at Real Sociedad. It also reports Takefusa Kubo will be used as part of a deal to bring back Odegaard.

- Talk about a deal that would see Neymar return to Barcelona and Antoine Griezmann join Paris Saint-Germain remains alive. According to Sport, PSG would welcome Griezmann while they attempt to re-sign Kylian Mbappe to unite the France team-mates at club level.

- One player unlikely to be at PSG is Edinson Cavani. Tuttosport reports Napoli are thinking about bringing the forward, who is out of contract at the end of the season, back to the Stadio San Paolo.

- Marc-Andre ter Stegen's future remains unclear. Sport claims Barcelona and the goalkeeper are no closer to renewing a contract that will expire in 2022.

- Henrikh Mkhitaryan is seemingly happy on loan at Roma, but whether he stays remains to be seen. The Daily Express says Arsenal have rejected two bids – the last one around €11.4million (£10m) – from the Serie A club, who may instead turn to Chelsea's Pedro.

- As they plan a move for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, Chelsea have told Willian he has no chance of getting a three-year deal, according to the Mirror. Willian is out of contract at the end of the season.

Jadon Sancho is the name on everyone's lips.

The Borussia Dortmund teenager has taken Europe by storm and clubs are queuing up.

But Manchester United are reportedly at the front of the line.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED IN TOUCH WITH SANCHO AGENT

Manchester United have contacted Jadon Sancho's agent as they look to sign the Borussia Dortmund sensation, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Sancho tops the list of United's transfer targets following his exploits for the Bundesliga side, with Liverpool and Chelsea also reportedly interested.

But Dortmund – who will not stand in Sancho's way of a departure – are unwilling to budge on their €110million (£98m) valuation.

 

ROUND-UP

- Tuttosport reports Chelsea are preparing a huge contract offer for Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. It comes as the Blues reportedly look to sell Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Juventus are interested in Achraf Hakimi, says Calciomercato. Achraf is set to return to Real Madrid following a two-year loan spell at Dortmund. Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked to the Moroccan full-back.

Inter have named their price for Barcelona target Lautaro Martinez, Calciomercato reports. With a release clause of €111m, Inter want at least €80m in cash.

- Birmingham City's 16-year-old star Jude Bellingham is set to reject a transfer to United in favour of Dortmund, says Bild.

Tottenham and Arsenal, along with Crystal Palace and West Ham, are eyeing Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren, according to Team Talk.

- Calciomercato claims Inter have not given up on signing Napoli forward Dries Mertens on a free transfer. The Belgian star is out of contract at the end of 2019-20.

Madrid is the preferred option for Rennes teenager Eduardo Camavinga, says Marca. Liverpool, Dortmund and PSG have also emerged as possible suitors for the 17-year-old.

- Corriere dello Sport says Valencia are eyeing Inter centre-back Diego Godin, who has been linked to United and Tottenham.

Roma are lining up a move for Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa, says Diario AS. Clubs in Brazil and Qatar are also reportedly circling.

Rumours linking Neymar to Barcelona refuse to subside.

Neymar left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record €222million transfer in 2017, but the Brazilian star wants to move back to Camp Nou.

Barca are desperate to make it happen by any means necessary.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA TO INVOKE CLAUSE IN NEYMAR PURSUIT

Barcelona are plotting an audacious plan to re-sign Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain, according to ESPN.

The report says LaLiga champions could invoke a little-known FIFA clause – Article 17 – in order to lure Neymar back to Camp Nou.

Article 17 states that players can leave their contracts "without just cause" once the three-year protection period ends.

 

ROUND-UP

Marc-Andre ter Stegen to leave Barca? The Germany international has been in contract negotiations with the Spanish giants, however, Sport says he is being tempted by Bayern Munich.

- Sport also claims that Barca have put Antoine Griezmann on the transfer market. It comes as Barca look to sign Inter's Lautaro Martinez at the end of the season, while keeping costs down amid the coronavirus pandemic. Manchester United, PSG, Chelsea and Arsenal are possible suitors for Griezmann. The same publication reports Barca's stars have agreed to take a pay cut to help the club deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

Real Madrid are interested in signing Wolves striker Raul Jimenez, AS reports. Madrid are eyeing a striker with Karim Benzema ageing and big-money recruit Luka Jovic so far failing to convince Zinedine Zidane. Mexico international Jimenez previously spent a year at Atletico Madrid in 2014-15.

- Gazzetta dello Sport says Arsenal and Tottenham are set to rival Serie A side Lazio for Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren.

- With Lovren set to leave, AS suggests Liverpool have lined up three possible replacements – RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano, Atletico Madrid defender Jose Maria Gimenez and Inter's Alessandro Bastoni.

- Calciomercato says Mauro Icardi – on loan at PSG from Inter – wants to return to Italy at the end of the season amid strong links to Juventus. The Argentina striker is also open to joining Madrid.

Inter are working on a renewal to tie down star midfielder Marcelo Brozovic, reports Tuttosport. The Croatia international is contracted until 2022.

Juve, United and Barca are all tracking PSG's highly rated 17-year-old Edouard Michut, according to Calciomercato.

Could Liverpool part with Sadio Mane?

The star forward is a key member of Jurgen Klopp's side, who won the Champions League last season.

However, Real Madrid are reportedly ready to test Liverpool's resolve.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID SET SIGHTS ON MANE

LaLiga giants Real Madrid are targeting Liverpool star Sadio Mane, reports The Mirror.

Mane has established himself as an integral part of Liverpool's squad after arriving from Southampton in 2016.

However, Madrid believe they could tempt Liverpool with a £140million (€154m) offer.

 

ROUND-UP

- Tuttosport's frontpage has the headline "Hands off Ronaldo". Sunday's newspaper features a story which says Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo want to continue together as the Serie A champions look to sign a "real number nine" amid links to Mauro Icardi. The Argentina international is on loan at Paris Saint-Germain from Inter.

PSG expect Neymar to leave at the end of the season, with ESPN claiming the Ligue 1 giants value the Barcelona target at €150m. Neymar left Barca for PSG in a world-record €222m deal in 2017.

- According to the Express, Chelsea are preparing a £85m (€93m) bid for Bayer Leverkusen's Leon BaileyLiverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United have also been linked to the 22-year-old.

- Gazzetta dello Sport claims PSG are keen on Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic, who is contracted to the Italian giants until 2023. While Pjanic could leave Turin, Emerson Palmieri could arrive as Juve eye the Chelsea full-back.

United have offered goalkeeper Dean Henderson a new contract worth £100,000 per week, reports The Sun. Henderson is on loan at Sheffield United.

- The Mirror says United, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Chelsea have all met Birmingham City's asking price for teenage sensation Jude Bellingham.

Liverpool are ready to offload Xherdan Shaqiri, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana at the end of the season, according to the Liverpool Echo.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he "can't help" those who pinned the blame for their first Premier League defeat of the season on Dejan Lovren.

The Reds' incredible 44-game unbeaten run in the league came to an end on Saturday as they slumped to a 3-0 loss at Watford.

Lovren replaced the injured Joe Gomez alongside Virgil van Dijk at the heart of the Liverpool defence and was criticised heavily for a poor performance.

However, Klopp believed no member of his side - who remain 22 points clear at the top of the league - played at their best.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday's FA Cup fifth-round tie with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Klopp came to Lovren's defence.

"There are so many explanations for the defeat. I have no interesting answers, we didn't play well," Klopp said. 

"Watford hurt us in situations where we are usually much better. It was not the day where we showed our best attitude-wise. Apart from that it was a very difficult game because Watford defended in a 6-3-1 formation that is of course allowed but quite a challenge to play against.

"I really thought in the second half we got it, but then we conceded the first goal and then the second goal.

"The situation we are in, you couldn't read a book about because nobody else was in the situation before us.

"It was 44 games without losing a Premier League game. The Premier League game before Watford we lost was at Man City, [and that] was because of 11 millimetres. Imagine if we didn't lose that game, it would have been a run of more than 60 games, which is absolutely incredible.

"It's not about now picking this game out and saying 'that was the sign that something went wrong', it's not like this. We have the chance to react, that's how it is.

"It's over now, so we can concentrate completely on football and we will do that. Nobody can tell us how to deal in a best way with runs like this because not a lot of teams had it. I was not happy with the performance but it was always clear there can be a moment where it can happen.

"If anyone blamed Dejan Lovren for the defeat then I can't help these people. It was a massive challenge for Dejan to play against Troy Deeney, so many other centre-halves would struggle in these specific situations and Joe had problems in similar situations before that. 

"It's completely normal and both Dejan and Joel [Matip] played for us in this position sensational games, but like everybody in life you need to be healthy, then you need to get fit and where you are fit you need rhythm, that's the most difficult thing to get in professional football because if you are out you have sessions but you don't play.

"He's an outstanding centre-half. If you can tell me one player on Saturday who played his normal level I would be really surprised."

Dejan Lovren wants Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool to be held in similar regard to Pep Guardiola's Barcelona, convinced they can leave a legacy that marks them out as an all-time great team.

After narrowly missing out on the Premier League title last season, despite a remarkable haul of 97 points, Liverpool look destined to end their 30-year wait for the title this term.

The Reds are incredibly 22 points clear of defending champions Manchester City after 25 matches, with Klopp's side only failing to win once so far in the league.

Not only are they on course to be crowned champions, they are still in the hunt for the FA Cup and also the Champions League, a trophy they lifted in 2019.

Should they close out the season as emphatically as they have performed so far then records will tumble, but Lovren has warned their rivals that Liverpool will still be "greedy" for more in the future.

"I've been there from the beginning with Jurgen and it took quite a while, two or three years to build everything up," Lovren told Sky Sports.

"Let's say, we clicked this year - maybe even last year - but we missed out by one point.

"Now we understand each other, what we need, what we want. And I especially want that we are remembered maybe like the Barcelona team that won in four years [about] 20 trophies.

"Why should we not do that? I think we can do it and I want that we are remembered as one of the best teams that have played - not only for this year, but for many, many years.

"We are still hungry, still greedy and this is what makes us special to be honest.

"I think many other teams would go easy now with a 22-point lead, but we don't look at these 22 points. We are just focused game by game and this I think is the simplest way to be the best.

"It is a good experience also for the younger ones, to understand that even if you are on top you still need to work as hard as if you were in the middle of the table or in last position."

Liverpool return to Premier League action on Saturday when they travel to rock-bottom Norwich City.

Dejan Lovren returned to training with Liverpool on Tuesday after six weeks on the sidelines and said he felt "happy to be back".

The 30-year-old defender suffered a muscle injury in the final Champions League group game against Salzburg on December 10, with that blow compounding the loss of Joel Matip as manager Jurgen Klopp's resources were stretched.

Matip was back in full training last week, though, after recovering from the knee problem he suffered in October, and now he and Lovren will be targeting a first-team return with the Premier League leaders.

Lovren and Matip have played a part at the back for Liverpool during their so-far highly successful season, with the Reds' rearguard marshalled by Virgil van Dijk.

Joe Gomez has started at centre-back alongside Van Dijk in recent Premier League games, with Croatian Lovren and Cameroon international Matip facing a battle to earn favour from Klopp ahead of the England defender.

Lovren posted a series of pictures on Instagram of himself in training on Tuesday, with the caption: "Happy to be back with the team."

Liverpool face Wolves at Molineux on Thursday in their next league fixture.

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