The summer transfer saga involving Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho and Crystal Palace looks to set to come to an end as the Eagles close in on sealing a deal with the Merseyside club for the France international.
After his hugely successful loan spell in the second half of last season under Sam Allardyce, cult hero Sakho’s highly anticipated return was always expected to drag right to the end of transfer deadline. The 27 year old centre-back remained a key target for new boss Frank de Boer and it seems Palace are finally set for some positive news.
Given the rising costs of players in this year’s crazy summer market, Liverpool rather expectedly haven’t shifted from their £30 million valuation of Sakho. Despite being completely banished from the first-team picture at Anfield under Jurgen Klopp, Sakho is still recognised for his top-class quality that saved a doomed Palace side last season.
Palace are a team in crisis after three straight defeats from the opening Premier League fixtures. A centre-back has remained a key position needed strengthening, particularly with boss de Boer’s new Dutch 3-4-3 passing system from the back. After missing out on names such as Bruno Martins Indi and Calum Chambers, Palace have retained their interest in Sakho throughout.
The Frenchman has apparently remained keen on returning to his illustrious status at Selhurst Park after being harshly treated by Liverpool. The Daily Mail reports Palace may have benefited from playing the long game after Liverpool have softened their stance with just days ticking til the window deadline. It’s rumoured a compromise of £25 million plus add ons totaling Liverpool’s valuation of £30 million will force the Reds to sell.
Similar to Palace’s pursuit of another big name frozen out by Liverpool a year ago, Sakho’s transfer saga is no different to the stalemate over Christian Benteke’s move. The Eagles suffered greatly in the opening games last season too by waiting too long to save a mere few million on a key transfer. Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion offer strong competition for Sakho’s signature, but it’s expected the player will choose the club he’s had his heart set on since his loan expired in May.