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Liverpool boss Klopp plays down Lovren exit: We need him

Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool need Dejan Lovren amid rumours he could leave the club.

The Croatian has fallen the pecking order at Anfield and subsequently been linked with a move to Zenit St. Petersburg, with his contract set to expire next summer.

But there are reports the club want to extend the centre-back's contract, and Klopp has seemingly confirmed their stance.

Asked if Lovren's experience was valuable, Klopp said: "Yeah, absolutely. Since I'm in, Dejan was always either in the team or close to the team, or not available.

"There was nothing else, we never had problems. It's all good. But nothing to say about the contract situation because it's nothing to discuss in public. It's just how it is.

"The situation is absolutely clear – Dejan is a player of LFC and we need him. In this moment again, with Joel [Matip] injured we have again only three centre-halves.

"So one more injured – and Dejan had a little problem the last two weeks, not massive but little, he is now available again – [and] that's what you need. You need the quality we have on the centre-half position to be successful, and that's why there's nothing really to discuss."

On Lovren's limited appearances this season, Klopp added: "First and foremost, 15 appearances [this season]; a couple of times injured, once for sure, and was not available.

"Dejan played outstanding games for us, is a very important part of the squad, absolutely no problem. It's always like this – we have four centre-halves and we play usually with two of them.

"But we needed all four always, so a very, very important role. He played the Champions League final for us, played a lot of big games, and was always a very reliable player. So nothing else to say about it, to be honest."

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