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Steve Parish, the Crystal Palace chairman, has confirmed the club are keen to begin negotiations with Liverpool over the possible permanent signing of Mamadou Sakho.
The France international defender joined the Eagles on loan in January having been marginalised by Reds manager Jurgen Klopp, and he’s impressed during his stint at Selhurst Park.
Parish told Holmesdale Radio (h/t ESPN FC) Palace now want to make the temporary switch a long-term one.
“The money needs to work for us and for Liverpool,” he said. “I’m sure there’ll be a negotiation on that. If we can make it work, of course we’d like to, I’m not going to try and be coy or clever on that. He’s a very good player, and I think he likes being with us. We like him. Let’s hope we can do it.”
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According to a piece from the Guardian‘s Dominic Fifield, Liverpool are willing to sell the former Paris Saint-German star this summer, although they will demand a fee of £30 million for his services.
Sakho has fallen out of favour in the eyes of Klopp. Despite impressing in 2015-16, the 27-year-old didn’t play a single minute of the current term for the Reds.
While he’s only made eight appearances for Palace since joining in January, the Frenchman impressed sufficiently to be on the shortlist for the club’s Player of the Year gong. As noted by Ed Malyon of The Independent, he’s made quite a splash in south London:
Ed Malyon @eaamalyon
Mamadou Sakho’s brief spell with Crystal Palace could barely have been more impactful. Hell of a loan signing. Best ‘cameo’ since Ventola.
5/11/2017, 10:08:32 AM
If Palace can get him on board for the future, it would be a tremendous signing. The centre-back settled in perfectly under Eagles manager Sam Allardyce and helped to improve what had previously been a brittle defensive setup.
While he can look ungainly on the ball, Sakho distributes expertly from the base of the team and is a leader in the back four. Additionally, he doesn’t relent on his defensive duties, winning headers, clattering into tackles and excelling in one-on-one duels.
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For a club of Palace’s stature, £30 million would be a lot to spend on a centre-back. But they parted with a similar amount to sign Christian Benteke from Liverpool last summer and he’s enjoyed a fine debut season.
And based on how well Palace performed with him, per WhoScored.com, perhaps he would be worth the outlay:
GRAPHIC: Crystal Palace with and without Mamadou Sakho starting in the Premier League in 2017 https://t.co/WSdEFEvJ17
4/27/2017, 11:30:01 AM
Given Sakho was a popular figure at Anfield before he was banished by Klopp, some supporters would be disappointed to see the Frenchman depart. After all, there’s an argument that he is an improvement on Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren, who have been Liverpool’s two first-choice centre-backs this season.
But at this juncture, with Klopp’s trust in the player seemingly gone, it makes sense for both parties to go their separate ways. It means another club will likely get their hands on one of the Premier League’s most dynamic defenders in Sakho. Palace will be hopeful it’s them.