Centre-back Dejan Lovren expects to sign new Liverpool contract

Dejan Lovren expects to sign a new long-term deal with Liverpool ​before the end of the season.

The Croatian centre-back's current deal runs out in the summer of 2019 but he has confirmed that talks are underway over an extension.

Since Jürgen Klopp's arrival at Anfield, Lovren has firmly established himself in the heart of the Reds defence.

Despite enduring a tough start to life on Merseyside after completing a £25 million move from Southampton, the 27-year-old impressed in the 3-1 derby win over Everton at the weekend - an indication of just how far he has come from an alarmingly poor first season at the club.

Lovren looking forward to the future

The Croatian spoke of his optimism for what the future holds for him at Liverpool after the Reds' victory over their bitter rivals.

​"Progress on the contract is going on and I'd say that hopefully everything will be clear in the next month. Like I've said many times about my future, I'm really happy here," ​said Lovren.

The defender referenced his tough first year, insisting that he is "settled" after "everything that happened in the beginning", adding: "I just want to improve every day here, show my quality and give my best for the club."

Fit and firing again

After sustaining a knee injury, Lovren hadn't played since late January prior to his return in the starting line-up at the weekend.

However, there was no indication of rustiness whatsoever as the Reds' No.6 turned in a thoroughly impressive performance.

A crucial last ditch challenge on Romelu Lukaku in the second half was indicative of his all-round display alongside Joel Matip at the heart of the defence.

​"I've been working hard, it's been quite tough for me to come back," ​Lovren continued.

"For a month, I didn't even train and then when I was back with the team it wasn't so easy," he said. "But we defended really well together against Everton and I'm happy about that."

Crucial stage of the season for Liverpool

With a favourable run of fixtures for Liverpool in what remains of the Premier League season, hopes of a top-four finish and return to the Champions League are high.

But after recent injuries to Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson, alongside the recent reports of Sadio Mané's season being over with a knee injury, it could be a more nail biting finish than perhaps expected.

Manchester United and Arsenal have both looked out of sorts in recent weeks but still have the quality to catch Liverpool, should they slip-up to mid-table sides once again.

Thus, it is imperative Liverpool remain in good form and keep up the confidence within the camp. Lovren's performance against Everton was one that few would have expected, with Lukaku in such tantalising form coming into the match, but the way in which the Croatian dealt with the Everton striker should give Klopp fresh hope of seeing out their current league position.