Liverpool sign Dejan Lovren from Southampton for £20m

Liverpool have made Southampton defender Dejan Lovren their fifth summer signing in a deal worth £20m.

The 25-year-old Croatia centre-back joins on a four-year contract and is the third Saints player to move to Anfield during this transfer window.

He had spoken publicly about his wish to make the switch and follows former team-mates Rickie Lambert, 32, and Adam Lallana, 25.

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers said: "This is a very important signing for us."

Lovren will join up with the squad on their US tour.

He said: "After I played at Anfield last season, I said to myself: 'One day I hope I'll be able to play here for Liverpool'."

Rodgers told Liverpool's official website:  "He is a commanding and powerful presence and clearly has leadership skills, which is important - he fits the profile of player we are looking for.

"He is still relatively young, so his peak years are ahead of him and I believe he will improve and progress even further with us."

Saints boss Ronald Koeman says the club are "close" to signing a replacement.

Liverpool's summer signings so far

Striker Rickie Lambert, 32, was signed for £4m from Southampton

Midfielder Adam Lallana, 25, was signed for £25m from Southampton

Midfielder Emre Can, 20, was signed for £10m from Bayer Leverkusen

Winger Lazar Markovic, 20, was signed for £20m from Benfica

Defender Dejan Lovren, 25, was signed for £20m from Southampton

Liverpool have already bought striker Lambert and midfielder Lallana from Southampton this summer and Lovren's addition means they have paid the South Coast club £49m in transfer fees in the last three months.

However, Lallana will miss the start of the new Premier League season with a knee injury.

Lovren, who joined Southampton from Lyon for £8.5m last summer, leaves St Mary's 12 months into a four-year contract.

With Luke Shaw joining Manchester United for £27m and Calum Chambers set to sign for Arsenal in a deal in the region of £16m, Southampton will have sold five players for a total of approximately £92m.

Koeman has also confirmed the club are looking to offload £15m striker Dani Osvaldo, while Arsenal have enquired about midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, 24, and Tottenham are interested in striker Jay Rodriguez, also 24.