The name of PSG centre-half Mamadou Sakho looms large on the Liverpool radar after it has emerged that the much-touted centre-half had reacted to the offer of a two-year contract extension at Parc Des Princes in circumspect fashion.
Sakho made his international debut for France at the tender age of 20 and such were his precocious gifts that he was made full-time captain of his club side by manager Antoine Kombouaré at the beginning of the 2011/12 campaign.
However, since Carlo Ancelotti replaced Kombouaré in the dugout at the behest of the club’s new owners, Sakho has found his position at the club to be far less secure. After a short string of poor showings in the spring-time of Ancelotti’s first campaign, Sakho was relegated to the bench and stripped of the captaincy, after which first-team opportunities have been less frequent.
The talented young defender still made 24 Ligue 1 starts in PSG’s championnat-winning campaign, but just two starts in the club’s run to the Champions League quarter-final highlight Ancelotti’s willingness to rotate him.
PSG have just closed the lid on a protracted process to find a manager to replace the Italian – who has moved to Real Madrid – with Laurent Blanc the new broom coming in and it’s thought that Sakho has been stalling over his contract in order to weigh up his position in the defensive pecking order going forward.
Bolstering the Liverpool defence is a priority for Brendan Rodgers after the retirement of defensive cornerstone Jamie Carragher, whilst Martin Skrtel’s future at the club has been clouded by rumours that ex-boss Rafa Benitez would like to bring him to Napoli.
Kolo Toure has already made his way through the door at Anfield, but Sakho would represent a far more long-term signing and one which Liverpool could build a defence around.
The guarantee of first team football could have a seductive effect on the 23-year-old and looks to be the Anfield outfit’s chief weapon if they are to pull off the coup of luring him away from a club that looks to be going places fast.
Unfortunately for Liverpool, Sakho has reason to feel his PSG future may be that bit brighter after the appointment of Blanc, who gave him his first call-up for the French national team.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.