By Dominic Toner
Liverpool are braced for a big-money bid from Southampton for defender Mamdou Sakho, according to a report.
The Daily Mirror claim that the Saints are preparing a £20million bid for the 27-year-old in the summer transfer window.
It is understood that Southampton are looking to make Liverpool an irresistible offer and grab the defender, who has been frozen out by manager Jurgen Klopp this season, ahead of Crystal Palace.
Sakho is currently on loan with Palace and the report details manager Sam Allardyce would love to sign the centre-back permanently, but the cost is going to be a major stumbling block.
Sakho has fallen down the pecking order this season and failed to make a single senior appearances for Liverpool.
The Frenchman was sent home early from a pre-season tour in USA and was always investigated for anti-doping violation, before patting being cleared of any offence.
However, he has been unable to force his way into Jurgen Klopp’s plans and managed to force a move to Selhurst Park in January.
Sakho has reminded people of his qualities by winning all three games he has featured in for relegation threatened Palace and keeping a clean sheet in each match.
Football Insider verdict:
Liverpool have signed plenty of Southampton’s players in recent years and the roles may now be reversed in the summer. Sakho would most likely be in the Reds starting line-up this season if it was based on just ability, but Klopp refused to bring him into the first team. If the German boss does not intend to play the centre-back next season, then they should gladly accept the Southampton money. The £20million figure is not far off the mark for a defender that is extremely solid for the most-part. He has proved already for Palace that he is more than good enough for the Premier League and it’s a shame Liverpool haven’t exploited him this campaign. The Merseyside club must invest the £20million in a top quality centre-back if Sakho leaves as that is an area that needs considerable improvement.
In other Liverpool transfer news, the club are favourites to sign a Premie League ace despite strong interest from Everton.