Crystal Palace's Mamadou Sakho celebrates
Reports from The Telegraph suggest that Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho is wanted by Southampton after his impressive displays for Crystal Palace.
The French centre back, signed from Paris Saint-Germain by Brendan Rodgers in 2013, had a hot-and-cold spell at Anfield before being frozen out by Jurgen Klopp this season.
With no chance of breaking back into the Liverpool side under Klopp, Sakho went out on loan to Crystal Palace in January, and his time at Selhurst Park has been remarkable.
Sakho has helped Palace tighten up at the back, keeping clean sheet after clean sheet thanks to his impact – made all the more astounding by the fact that he has come straight into Sam Allardyce's side and played at such a high level despite no first-team football this season.
Now, with Southampton looking for another centre back following Jose Fonte's January move to West Ham United, The Telegraph believe that French boss Claude Puel is seeking a move for compatriot Sakho to aid his defence – especially with rumours surrounding Virgil van Dijk's future at the club.
Landing Sakho, based on his Crystal Palace displays, could be a great move from Southampton's perspective, but from Liverpool's, they should be looking to use Sakho in a part-exchange deal for Saints star Van Dijk.
Southampton's Virgil van Dijk
The Dutchman has become the complete centre back since his September 2015 move from Celtic, possessing size, strength, speed, aerial ability, positional awareness and even outstanding technical ability for a centre back.
Liverpool's defence has been shaky for many years, and landing Van Dijk to play alongside the similarly athletic Joel Matip could immediately tighten up Klopp's back line – though they would face strong competition for the 25-year-old's signature.
Offering cash plus Sakho is the ideal opportunity for Liverpool to land Van Dijk, and fans have taken to Twitter to suggest that the Reds would be making a huge mistake if they don't propose such a deal, stating that selling Sakho to Southampton and allowing Van Dijk to move elsewhere would be similar to when they sold Luis Suarez to Barcelona without receiving Alexis Sanchez in part-exchange, who later joined Arsenal.
As much as I'd like Sakho to stay at #Lfc if he is to leave he must be used as a make weight in a deal for Van Dijk. Anything else is silly.— Kev (@TheinfamousMrF) April 3, 2017
if Southampton want Sakho, lets offer £20m+Sakho for van Dijk. #LFC— Matt (@MattiasArvidss1) March 28, 2017
Offer Saints 35 million plus Sakho for Van Dijk. Simple or yet again we miss out on a player who would put us in the top 2 or 3 #lfc— Derek Fallon (@Derekfallon) March 27, 2017
Letting Sakho join Saints and not getting VVD in the opposite direction is bad business #LFC— Jason Manuel(@finley69) March 29, 2017
If Southampton do want sakho, and we don't use VVD as part of the deal it will be so much like the Suarez deal. Big chance missed #LFC— Terry (@Terry_LFC5) March 28, 2017
If we sell Sakho to Southampton and don't get VVD. It's like selling Suarez to Barcelona without getting alexis Sanchez. Same mistake. #LFC— Stevie G (@Benthereds) March 27, 2017
Southampton can command up to £50million for Van Dijk, and with Liverpool valuing Sakho somewhere in the region of £20million to £25million - which may keep rising if he continues to impress for Palace - an offer of £25million plus Sakho could give the Saints something to think about, whilst allowing Liverpool to offload an unwanted player whilst landing one of the Premier League's top centre backs without breaking the bank.
Would you like to see Liverpool offer cash plus Sakho for Van Dijk?