Ryan Bertrand
Bertrand, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Aston Villa, is wanted by Rodgers.Getty

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will turn his attention to strengthening his defence with Southampton centre half Dejan Lovren and Chelsea's Ryan Bertrand on his radar, reports suggest.

The Reds have been one of the most active sides in the Premier League this summer having strengthened their attack with former Saints duo Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana having also completed a deal for German midfielder Emre Can.

However, strengthening the club's defensive options remain a priority after the Premier League runners up conceded the most goals in the top five last season, a total of 50 in 38 games.

The Times suggest Rodgers has identified Lovren, 24, as his priority target with the club prepared to make Southampton an offer for the player who has spent just one season on the south coast.

The Croatian international arrived in the Premier League in a deal worth £8.5m from Lyon and excelled under Mauricio Pochettino last term. The lure of Champions League football is likely to tempt the defender into considering Liverpool's calls but Southampton will be reluctant to see their squad further dismantled, having already watched Lallana, Lambert and Luke Shaw leave the club.

A new left back also remains a priority for Rodgers. The club have so far been frustrated in their attempts to prise Alberto Moreno away from Sevilla after reaching an impasse over a proposed transfer fee.

Bertrand, who Rodgers worked alongside during his time in charge of Chelsea's academy, would present a more affordable option on the left hand side of defence. The full back's uncertain future at Stamford Bridge also suggests he will be a far more attainable target.

Despite the departure of Ashley Cole, Bertrand is likely to remain down on the pecking order in Jose Mourinho's side with the club expected to sign Atletico Madrid full back Filipe Luis before the new season.

Despite the rivalry between the two, Liverpool and Chelsea have enjoyed a healthy relationship in the transfer market, boosted by Rodgers' ties with the west London club. Since his arrival the Northern Irishman has brought Daniel Sturridge and Victor Moses, the latter on loan, to Merseyside and will be hopeful of striking a similar deal for Bertrand.