Premier League rivals eye swoop for one of two Liverpool defenders - report
By Matt Farr
Bournemouth have entered the race to sign Mamadou Sakho from Liverpool this month and are also interested in Joe Gomez, according to a report.
Sakho has become an outcast at Liverpool following an altercation with Jurgen Klopp in pre-season, and is expected to leave Anfield in the coming weeks having failed to make a single senior appearance this term.
The Daily Mail claim that Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe wants to bring the France international to the club on loan until the end of the season, after Chelsea recalled Nathan Ake from his loan spell with the Cherries.
The Mail understand Bournemouth are also interested in youngster Joe Gomez, and will approach Liverpool in a bid to land either defender.
The Cherries are said to want to replace Ake with another central defender who is confident on the ball, and want to get the deal done quickly with Simon Francis set to serve a three-match suspension.
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Blues boss Antonio Conte had been impressed by Ake’s displays for Bournemouth, with the 21-year-old defender having scored three goals in 12 appearances.
Ake was a valuable first-team player for Eddie Howe’s side, but now he must turn to another to fill the void left by the departing Netherlands U21 international.
Given his Anfield exile, Sakho would surely relish the opportunity to land a first-team role at another club, or at least be handed the chance to end his Liverpool nightmare.
A loan move would be the only likely option for Bournemouth, however, Liverpool would prefer to get him off the books permanently.
The Daily Mail reports that Galatasaray and Sevilla are both also interested in Sakho, and could emerge as favourites if Reds boss Jurgen Klopp rules out a loan deal.
Joe Gomez, meanwhile, made his long-awaited return to the Reds first-team against Plymouth on Sunday, having not played since October 1, 2015 – and Jurgen Klopp could be tempted into allowing the 19-year-old to build up his fitness.
Football Insider verdict
Both Liverpool players would be very good signings for Bournemouth. Nathan Ake looked a very good player during his brief time at the Vitality Stadium, and any newcomer has big shoes to fill. Regardless of whether Ake receives regular first-team action at Chelsea, he will play no further part in Bournemouth’s season – so they must get someone in to do his job. Given his long-term absence, it remains to be seen what role Jurgen Klopp sees for Joe Gomez over the remainder of the campaign, but a switch to Bournemouth can only be beneficial to his development. Eddie Howe is an excellent manager, and he likes to give youth a chance – showcased with Ake – and Gomez would be a valuable player. Sakho, on the other hand, seems a less likely deal but one they should still pursue. Not so long ago, Sakho was one of the biggest defensive prospects in Europe, and the ball is likely to be in Liverpool’s court regarding a loan move. A permanent deal is their preference, but shipping him out of the club on any deal is surely a bonus.
In other Liverpool news, Loris Karius has hailed this positive from Liverpool’s 0-0 draw with Plymouth.