Liverpool are lining up a move for Lyon defender Dejan Lovren in the summer.

Dejan Lovren

The 23-year-old, who has made 17 appearances for the Ligue 1 outfit so far this season, is held in high regard by their coaching staff and supporters. According to the Daily Mail, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is now considering an approach for the Croatian to boost his back four.

Liverpool have to find a replacement for Jamie Carragher in the summer, after the veteran announced he will retire at the end of the season. The Reds are currently facing a few problems in the heart of their defence, with uncertainty looming over the futures of Martin Skrtel and Sebastian Coates.

Coates has fallen down the pecking order at Anfield and has made just three Premier League appearances this season, while Skrtel, who was benched for the last three league matches, is a target for former club Zenit St Petersburg. Rodgers recently admitted the club needed to recruit a new, experienced centre-back in the summer to fill the void to be left by Carragher.

"The biggest thing we need this summer is to bring in some men, some character that allows and supports the other men to see the games out. That is the biggest thing for me. Look at Jamie Carragher, he is our best defender, he is 35 but we are losing that character. That has to be replaced," the Northern Irishman pointed out.

However, Liverpool could face fierce competition in the race for Lovren as derby rivals Everton and west Londoners Chelsea are also understood to be showing an interest in the defender.

Bale and Reina

Meanwhile, Pepe Reina has revealed he would be relieved to see Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale join long-term admirers Real Madrid. However, the Liverpool stopper does not feel his team mate Luis Suarez will move to Spain.

"I can't see Luis Suarez playing in La Liga. I think he'll stay at Liverpool. He's a great player. So are Bale and a few others in the Premier League. If Real Madrid signs Bale, I'll be delighted. He causes me a lot of problems," Reina said.