Southampton have become accustomed to seeing their stars snatched by Liverpool in summer transfer windows but the tide could be about to turn with a major transfer in the opposite direction.
The Daily Mirror states Southampton have been impressed by Mamadou Sakho’s performances on-loan with Premier League strugglers Crystal Palace and are ready to make a move in the summer window, as the Frenchman’s time with Liverpool looks to be up.
Sakho was sent home early in pre-season last summer and has fallen out of favour in the eyes of Jurgen Klopp, who deems the former Paris Saint-German defender to be surplus to requirements- which opens the door for a transfer this summer.
Southampton have struggled to remain competitive in the Premier League this season and are set to miss out on European football, with Claude Puel’s side needing changes this summer- and bringing Sakho into their defence could be a wise call.
Do Southampton need him?
Southampton’s defence was weakened in the mid-season window following the departure of Jose Fonte to West Ham United and the Saints also face uncertainty around the future of star-man Virgil Van Dijk, who continues to earn plaudits for his defensive displays.
Regardless or not of whether Van Dijk stays on the South Coast, Southampton need to bolster their defensive ranks and, should the Dutchman stay, a partnership with Sakho would help the Saints push for regular involvement in European competitions.
At 27, Sakho is approaching the prime years of his career and his experience would aid a fairly young Southampton side, whilst a price-tag of around £20m wouldn’t break the bank for the Saints.
Is there any chance of a Liverpool stay?
It certainly seems unlikely, given all that has gone on at Anfield, and the Reds seem content with the likes of Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan for the time being. In the summer though, defensive changes will occur and that would give Sakho more competition on Merseyside.
After missing out on France’s European Championship exploits last summer, following a failed drugs test that was later overturned, Sakho will be pushing for a spot in Didier Deschamps’ squad for the World Cup next summer and moving to Southampton could help his chances.
For Sakho to compete with the illustrious names that France boast in defence, he’ll need to be playing regular football at the highest level and, whilst Southampton won’t be able to offer chances on the European stage, starring for the Saints would certainly help his cause.