Dejan Lovren is on the verge of being omitted from the Croatia squad for the European Championship finals in France later this year following a spat with manager Ante Cacic during the recent international break when they faced Hungary in Budapest. The Liverpool defender was annoyed with the manager for leaving him as an unused substitute despite guaranteeing him playing time.
Lovren is said to have given an ultimatum to the manager, threatening to walk out of the team if he is not guaranteed a first-team place. The threat seems to have backfired, with the manager making it clear that he will be dropped from the national team if such behaviour continues.
Cacic wants all the players irrespective of their seniority and experience to put team goals ahead of individual glory. The coach has, however, given the defender a chance to make the Croatia squad by mending his ways and accepting the decisions made by the team management.
"I already said when appointed as coach that the Croatia squad is above any individual. I will not give up that view for anyone," Cacic said, as quoted by ESPN FC.
"In Croatia's locker room there is no place for ultimatums, there should be respect for the Croatian jersey, teammates and coach."
"I hope he will accept the decision in a mature manner and realise that even the best players put themselves in the service of the collective first and then think about themselves," the Croatia boss added.
Lovren has established himself as a regular member of Jurgen Klopp's first-team squad and is ever-present at the heart of the Reds defence alongside Mamadou Sakho. The Merseyside club are preparing to welcome Borussia Dortmund to Anfield for their second-leg clash in the quarter-finals of the Europa League on Thursday (14 April).