Liverpool still hopeful of attracting £30 million for outcast Mamadou Sakho

Liverpool remain hopeful that they can still find a buyer to stump up £30 million for outcast defender Mamadou Sakho after the Frenchman returned to Merseyside for pre-season training earlier this week.

Liverpool still hopeful of attracting £30 million for outcast Mamadou Sakho
(Picture: Getty Images - John Powell)

Liverpool remain confident of generating as much as £30 million through the sale of Mamadou Sakho having fielded several enquiries already this summer.

A number of clubs have contacted the Reds to discuss the centre-back's availability and Liverpool remain confident of obtaining their asking price although no move is currently on the horizon.

The France international hasn't played for the club since April 2016 though enjoyed a productive six-month loan spell at Crystal Palace last season, helping to distance the London club from relegation with a string of impressive individual performances.

Palace remain the club most likely to sign Sakho, having indicated their interest in signing the player permanently, although they have publicly spoken of their reservations at paying as much as £30 million.

Palace chairman Steve Parish said last month that any deal would be "very difficult" to do because Liverpool are looking for "a big number for him."

The fee Liverpool are asking for would be more than the club-record £27 million fee they also paid to Liverpool for Christian Benteke last summer, though add-ons in the Belgian's deal means the fee could eventually rise to £32 million.

Yet the Merseyside outfit believe they can attract such a fee for Sakho given the 27-year-old's experience and obvious quality, and also because the defender's Anfield contract does not run out until 2020. 

Palace is likely to be Sakho's first-choice destination given his success in South London earlier this calendar year, and despite suffering a knee injury stayed at the club until the very end of last season.

The two parties have already held talks although the retired Sam Allardyce - in charge when Sakho was on loan at Palace - has since been replaced by former Ajax boss Frank de Boer.

Sakho returned to Melwood for pre-season training on Wednesday and has been working away from Jürgen Klopp's first-team to overcome the injury that ended his season early back in April.

Where did it all go wrong?

The Frenchman - who has made 80 appearances for Liverpool, scoring three goals - has not featured in a red shirt for 15 months after his drugs ban and then disciplinary issues.

Sakho was ineligible for three months after UEFA handed him an initial 30-day ban for failing a drugs test following a Europa League knock-out stage clash with Manchester United in March.

Liverpool were unaware Sakho had been taking the fat-burning substance and the case became all the more frustrating when Sakho's case was dismissed last July after the substance was revealed not to be on the banned list.

Although that meant he missed the Europa League final against Sevilla and Euro 2016 in his homeland for no reason, it invited Sakho back into the fold ahead of the 2017-18 campaign.

But indiscipline and disruptive behaviour on the club's pre-season tour of the United States last summer led Klopp to send the player back home early and cast his future into doubt.

He was banished to training with the Academy at Kirkby following a social media rant at Klopp in September, with his future decided almost ever since - the Reds boss insisting he was not in the first-team plans back in December.

Once a fans' favourite, Sakho's Liverpool career is destined to end meekly - but the Anfield club are determined to recoup a sizeable fee for the former Paris Saint-Germain captain first. 


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