By Matt Farr
Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke has admitted he is trying to persuade Mamadou Sakho to join him at the club on a permanent basis.
Sakho, 27, joined from Liverpool on loan from January until the end of the season, and immediately kickstarted the club’s bid to avoid relegation from the Premier League with a string of impressive displays.
However, Crystal Palace face a fight to retain the defender’s services beyond the current campaign, but Benteke admits he is doing his utmost to fight the club’s corner.
Sakho has been a huge hit for the club following his arrival, but is likely to miss the club’s final three games with a knee injury, sustained in the 1-0 defeat to Tottenham a week ago.
But that is not likely to deter Crystal Palace in their attempts to extend his stay at Selhurst Park, and Benteke, who played alongside Sakho at Liverpool, could play a major role.
Benteke said, as quoted by the Standard: “I’m trying to persuade him to stay but it will be tough.
“He’ll have offers from other clubs, although our chairman and boss will try to get him to stay too. He’s made such a difference to us.”
It remains to be seen what role Jurgen Klopp may have in store for Sakho upon his return to Anfield at the end of the season.
Klopp chose to exile the France international defender last summer due to concerns over his attitude during their pre-season tour of the United States, but their continued defensive woes offers hope of a way back into his plans.
Liverpool have regularly shipped goals, despite making several reinforcements last summer, and Sakho’s form for Palace this term offers Klopp an option much closer to home, instead of spending big in the transfer market.
In other Liverpool transfer news, a report claims Real Madrid are eyeing a move for this central midfield ace as a shock alternative to Eden Hazard.