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3rd Dec, 2016 | 7:35am

Liverpool intensify efforts to seal January deal for £19m ace - Guardian

By Will Butcher

Liverpool could be set to offload unwanted defender Mamadou Sakho to French giants Nice in the January window, according to a report.

The Ligue 1 table toppers could be set to raid Jurgen Klopp’s side for a second time, after signing Mario Balotelli in the summer who has proved to be an instant hit.

The Guardian claimed that Sakho could look to follow Balotelli’s eye-catching example by reinvigorating his career with Nice.

It is said that Liverpool will intensify efforts to sell the £19million player next month after Jurgen Klopp admitted on Friday that the player can leave Anfield next month.

Balotelli, who has also played for Manchester City, AC Milan and Inter Milan throughout his career, has scored seven goals in nine league and cup encounters following his free transfer.

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With France international Sakho set to jump through the Anfield escape route, he may sign for Nice with the hope that he can make an instant return to form like his ex-teammate.

“ith Dejan Lovren, Ragnar Klavan, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez all considered ahead of Sakho, Liverpool’s number three is likely to be forced to call time on his Anfield stay.

The report also claims that Nice will have to fend off competition from Premier League outfit West Brom, as well as a whole host of Serie A sides.

Sakho signed for Liverpool back in the summer of 2013 from French giants Paris Saint-Germain, and has since made 79 league and cup appearances for the Reds.

Football Insider verdict:

With Sakho on a contract believed to be worth a hefty amount, Klopp should look to offload the unwanted star in January as soon as possible. With plenty of options at the heart of the Liverpool defence, Sakho will not be missed. His failure to turn up to training on time during the pre-season tour of America, as well his debacle with fat burners and a ban from UEFA has seen his last months in Merseyside plunge into controversy. There is no doubt, though, that Sakho is a quality defender and would be a top signing for most European clubs. A move to either Nice or West Brom will benefit all parties, as the defender looks to put his career back on the right track.

In other Liverpool transfer news, this senior man has decided to leave his post and join Brazilian giants Sao Paulo.