DEJAN LOVREN has left Liverpool to join Russian side Zenit St. Petersburg.
The defender made 185 appearances for the Premier League champions after joining from Southampton in 2014.
After making just 10 league appearances during this year’s title-winning campaign, he has left the club permanently.
It has been reported that Lovren’s switch to Zenit cost the Russian side £10.9million.
Zenit had hoped to secure him on a cut-price deal as the Croatian star had entered the final 12 months of his contract.
But Liverpool triggered their option to extend the 31-year-old’s deal by a further year to retain his market value.
A statement on the club website read: “Lovren departs Anfield having played an important role in last season’s Champions League triumph and as part of the squad that has collected UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup and Premier League honours during 2019-20.
“Everybody at Liverpool Football Club would like to thank Dejan for his contribution over the years and wish him all the very best in his new challenge.”
Following the 31-year-old’s departure, Jurgen Klopp said: “Another Liverpool legend who leaves the club.
“He was a very, very important part of this team, from the first day that I joined.”
Before he added: “When he was fit, he was very, very, very often in the team. Great player, great person.”
The Liverpool manager also joked Mohamed Salah will now be searching for a new “best friend”.
He said: “Yesterday we said, ‘Who is now Mo’s best friend?’, because they were real, real besties.
“We will miss him. He’s a model athlete. He has everything you need and now he goes to Russia.
“He can always come back and will always be welcome as he’s a really nice guy.”
Speaking in a clip posted to Liverpool’s Twitter page, Salah said: “We are really going to miss you a lot, especially me.
‘He’s been so important to us’ 🙌
The boss pays tribute to @Dejan06Lovren after six years with the Reds… pic.twitter.com/P2DTY4FFTf
🤜🤛 @MoSalah’s special farewell message to @Dejan06Lovren… pic.twitter.com/aqc4pNmO9L
“You have been an unbelievable player and a great friend for me. We are going to miss you a lot, I miss you a lot, I love you so much.”
One of the greatest moments of Lovren’s career with Liverpool came against Borussia Dortmund in April 2016.
He scored a stoppage-time header to send Liverpool into the Europa League semi-finals at the expense of Klopp’s former team.