Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is considering whether to allow Mamadou Sakho to leave the club on loan, as he bids to regain his fitness.
The French centre-back is considerably behind his team-mates following four months on the sidelines through a combination of injury and suspension.
Sakho has battled back from the throes of an unjust UEFA drug charge, as well as a debilitating heel problem, and has just returned to first-team training.
But having missed the entirety of pre-season, being sent home from Liverpool’s tour of the US after a disagreement with Klopp, the 26-year-old could be primed for a summer loan move.
That is according to the Times‘ Tony Barrett, among others, who claims that a spell away from Merseyside would be designed to get Sakho “back on track.”
The former Paris Saint-Germain captain joined Klopp’s squad at Melwood on Monday afternoon, with this transfer development a bemusing one.
Klopp currently has Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan as his other senior centre-back options, while Joe Gomez and Lucas Leiva are also available as cover on their return from injury.
But allowing Sakho to depart would certainly leave the German short, with another addition possible.
Sakho has been linked with a temporary move to AS Roma in the past, and is unlikely to be short of suitors despite his lack of fitness.
When in prime condition, Sakho is Liverpool’s best centre-back, possessing a mixture of intelligence, strength and technical quality.
But his summer transgression, and events out of his control, have seemingly played against him.
The summer transfer window closes on August 31, leaving Klopp little time to identify cover if he allows Sakho to leave, but FC Porto’s versatile Dutch defender Bruno Martins Indi has been linked in recent days.