Liverpool centre back Dejan Lovren has not been selected by Croatia for their upcoming friendlies against Peru and Mexico, to be played on 23 March and 27 March respectively.
As reported on the Croatian Football Federation website on Sunday, national team coach Zlatko Dalić has now confirmed his final squad for the two matches, both of which will be played in the USA.
Lovren had been included in the preliminary 29-man list but did not make the final cut due to a foot injury.
🇭🇷 Confirmation from the Croatian FA that Dejan Lovren is out with a foot injury. He'll miss this month's friendlies against Peru (March 23) and Mexico (March 27).— Jack Lusby (@jacklusby_) March 19, 2018
See that as good news as they're playing those two games in Florida and Texas. #LFC pic.twitter.com/QBq229XrDi
This is likely to be hailed as good news by some Liverpool fans who were concerned the Croatian could have aggravated his injury by playing for his national side in America.
However, his omission from the Croatia squad is also likely to give rise to speculation that his recent problems away from the pitch may also have been a factor. Lovren is currently under investigation for alleged perjury in his home country.
According to Croatian journalist Alexander Holiga, Lovren is being investigated, while his compatriot, Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modrić, has already been charged by the Croatian authorities.
Since his £20m transfer from Southampton in 2014, Lovren's displays have frequently drawn criticism from commentators and Liverpool fans alike - especially for his performance in the 4-1 mauling by Spurs in October, when he was substituted after just over half an hour.
CORRECTION: Lovren hasn't been charged yet. He is being INVESTIGATED for giving a false testimony. Modrić has already been CHARGED. And it seems certain that Lovren will, too - it seems that there's even more evidence against him.— Aleksandar Holiga (@AlexHoliga) March 12, 2018
However, his form is generally considered to have improved in the second half of the season, especially since the arrival of fellow centre back Virgil van Dijk in January.
Even in the absence of Lovren and three other players from the preliminary 29-man list, Croatia head coach Dalić can still call on the services of stars such as Ivan Rakitić, Luka Modrić and Mario Mandžukić.