Ligue 1 challengers Lille are reported to be interested in signing exiled Liverpool centre-back Mamadou Sakho on loan in January.
Frozen out on Merseyside and out of manager Jurgen Klopp‘s thoughts, Sakho faces a pivotal period in the winter transfer window.
Having turned down loan moves to Stoke City and Besiktas in the summer, despite Klopp advising him to leave after four months on the sideline due to suspension and injury, his position has become clearer.
After an ill-advised address on social media in September, Sakho is reportedly set for a January departure, and according to the Mirror, among others, this could see him return to France.
Sakho is said to have accepted “he has no future at Anfield,” and “knows he must leave in January to resurrect his career,” having spent the first months of 2016/17 turning out for Liverpool’s under-23s.
Lille are believed to be ready to step in and offer Sakho a route away from the club, but “[his] £100,000-a-week wages could be a stumbling block and Liverpool would have to heavily subsidise the loan move.”
This sees Sakho in a similar position to Mario Balotelli in 2015, when the Reds were forced to agree a cut-price deal for the Italian striker to rejoin AC Milan on loan.
Interested parties can use Klopp’s stance on his high-earning centre-back as leverage, and with the Express‘ Paul Joyce also naming Lille as a possible January destination, it is clear they is interest from Stade Pierre-Mauroy.
Reports in French publication L’Equipe on Wednesday suggested Sakho was in line for a January move, likely prompted by Klopp’s most recent words on the 26-year-old.
“I hope you didn’t make the long trip for this question,” he told a French reporter on Monday, ahead of Liverpool’s League Cup victory over Tottenham Hotspur.
“Because the answer is I’ve said everything about this already. You could read it in English newspapers!
“All that I’ve said about this I said to Mama in the talk, so nothing else to say about it.”
Another player to drop down to the U23s this season, Danny Ings, featured as a second-half substitute in the 2-1 win over Spurs, highlighting Klopp’s view on Sakho.
There is seemingly no way back for the former Paris Saint-Germain captain, and joining the likes of Vincent Enyeama, Sebastien Corchia, Morgan Amalfitano, Rio Mavuba, Rony Lopes and Eder at Lille should be an attractive prospect.