Liverpool are closing on a deal for Mamadou Sakho.
The 23-year-old was once regarded as one of the most promising defenders in European football, having progressed through the youth ranks at Paris St Germain to captain the club whilst still a teenager. However, since the Qatari takeover of the capital club, he has found his chances under threat with Thiago Silva and Marquinhos signed for a combined €74million.
Laurent Blanc was keen to keep the defender in his squad as he plans to retain the title and also launch a bid for the UEFA Champions League, and club chairman Nasser el-Khelaïfi recently went on record to express his surprise that the player could even consider leaving.
“He is a child from the club, just like Steven Gerrard at Liverpool, players you can hardly imagine wearing another shirt,” he said. “I am a bit surprised to see he wants to leave. I had a talk with him. My position is very clear and he knows it: we want to keep him and we will do our best for that.”
However, it appears as though Sakho could actually be lining up alongside Gerrard in the very near future. According to reports, a fee of around £15million has been agreed for the France international, who has on a number of occasions in the past been linked with Arsenal. He is expected on Merseyside to undergo a medical, and if all goes according to plan, he could be an official Liverpool player before they take on Manchester United on Sunday.
It is also being claimed that Brendan Rodgers will spend a further £8million on another defender, Tiago Ilori, from Sporting Lisbon. Again, the former Swansea City coach will hope to have this deal wrapped up before the end of the weekend. Shay Given, meanwhile, could arrive from Aston Villa to provide back-up for Simon Mignolet, whilst Victor Moses, who has struggled to force his way into Jose Mourinho’s plans at Chelsea, is wanted on a loan deal.
This would likely conclude an impressive summer for the Anfield club, who have already signed Mignolet, defenders Kolo Toure and Aly Cissokho, and forwards Luis Alberto and Iago Aspas.