Liverpool FC have offered Southampton £20million for Dejan Lovren – but are being frustrated in their attempts to wrap up a deal for the centre-back.

The Croatia international is Brendan Rodgers’ No 1 defensive target and he is desperate to join former Saints clubmates Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana at Anfield.

Lovren, who has handed in a transfer request, believes he had a gentleman’s agreement with the South Coast outfit that he could leave this summer if a club paid £20million for his services.

However, despite Liverpool matching that amount, Southampton are refusing to do business and are holding out for a higher fee.

Lovren has been left fuming by what he sees as Saints reneging on a promise and is ready to go on strike in order to force through his dream move.

The 24-year-old is currently on holiday following Croatia’s elimination from the World Cup in Brazil.