By Danny Wright

28th Mar, 2017 | 12:50pm

Report: Liverpool braced for summer transfer-chain offer after PL rivals plot £50m defender bid

By Danny Wright

Liverpool look set to receive a bid for on-loan defender Mamadou Sakho as a transfer chain reaction could be set off over Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk, according to a report.

The Telegraph reported that Southampton are readying themselves for offers worth over £50million for Virgil van Dijk from Chelsea.

And if that happens they could come back in for controversial Anfield enforcer Mamadou Sakho, after baulking at a £20million valuation for the player in January.

Although Nathan Ake could be used as a bargaining chip by Chelsea in order to snap up van Dijk, Sakho may prove to be a a more solid, battle-hardned choice for Claude Puel.

The 27-year-old is currently on loan at Crystal Palace but has impressed under Sam Allardyce as his side are yet to concede a goal with the Frenchman on the pitch in his first three games.

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Jurgen Klopp could face a bit of a conundrum in the summer when it comes to Sakho. He clearly isn’t a part of the German’s plans, but improved performances, and the interest from Southampton, could show him that he may be worth keeping hold of – especially when the form of centre-backs Ragnar Klavan and Dejan Lovren has been inconsistent this season.

Lovren has been dropped entirely from the Reds set up in recent weeks with a niggling injury as Klavan has come in to play alongside Joel Matip.

The ex-Schalke centre-back is clearly Klopp’s favoured player in the position but choosing the right partner for him appears to be a constant source of frustration.

Van Dijk has been a long-term target of Klopp’s but the Daily Mail reported that they cooled their interest in January.

However, there’s a possibility they could revive their interest and use Sakho as a bargaining chip to get their man to Anfield.

Football Insider Verdict

It’s all getting a bit complicated in this ‘merry-go-round’ of defenders shifting clubs and Liverpool need to show that they have a bit of control over what is going on. The Reds have at their disposal a top-class attacking force and a very formidable midfield, but their defence is the ultimate area that Klopp has to improve. Sakho’s performances at Palace need to be looked at because he could prove to be like a new signing if he returns to Anfield at the end of the season. If the relationship between him and Klopp is irreparable, Klopp should use him as a bargaining chip to land an elite defender – and they don’t come much better than Virgil van Dijk.

In other Liverpool news, Dejan Lovren has responded to reports linking the Reds to this Serie A wizard.

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