Dejan Lovren has insisted that he's confident his Liverpool side can do better next season, as he returned to Melwood for pre-season training amidst intense speculation linking him with a string of Italian clubs.
The Croatian fell severely down the pecking order at Anfield towards the tail-end of last season, with Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk firmly establishing themselves as the Champions League winners' centre-back pairing.
However, speaking to Liverpool's official website, Lovren showed no sign that his future lies elsewhere.
Speaking upon his return to pre-season training, the 30-year-old seemed excited about the new Premier League campaign, saying: "The vacation is over, it’s time to work and to get back on track where we stopped.
"I am confident in this team because we are growing each year, we are each year better, so I hope we can beat the 97 points [that Liverpool achieved last season in the Premier League]'.
“We’ll go again step by step. Let’s focus on each game in the Premier League, on each game in the Champions League again. It will be, like we know, a battle between the top four. They are good teams, especially Man City, so they also again want to prove [they are ready]
The former Southampton player has also been linked with moves to Roma and Napoli recently, and Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher had even encouraged the club to cash in on the injury-prone player.
But for now at least, Lovren, whose contract doesn't expire until 2021, appears set to remain at Anfield.
Lovren can expect further competition for places during the 2019/2020 season, with Joe Gomez returning to form after a lengthy injury, while Jurgen Klopp may even consider giving minutes to new signing Sepp van den Berg, in order to aid the 17-year-old's development.