Liverpool centre-back Mamadou Sakho is set to be sold in January, having failed to regain Jurgen Klopp‘s trust following six months in exile.
The Frenchman was sent home midway through the Reds’ pre-season tour of the United States, and has since dropped down to U23 level, playing for and training with Michael Beale’s side.
Sakho’s fortunes worsened following an ill-advised outburst on social media in September, saying “the fans deserve to know the truth.”
Having turned down loan moves to West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City and Besiktas in the summer, Sakho will now leave on a permanent deal in the winter transfer window.
That is according to the Guardian, who claim Liverpool will “intensify efforts” to shift Sakho on the turn of the year.
This comes after Klopp told reporters on Friday morning that “there is no thought to sell any player in the first-team squad,” later reiterating that Sakho was not part of this group.
“Now you know, I said it: he is not in these plans for the first team,” he said of Sakho.
“The first-team squad is here. Do you really think I would have said Sakho will not be sold in winter? Nothing changed.
“Once again this actual first-team squad is in this dressing room, from this point of view nobody will be sold.”
Klopp’s comments come as a definitive statement over Sakho’s future, with the 26-year-old having no hope of reclaiming his role in the Liverpool first team.
This is relieved by the excellent form of summer signing Joel Matip, who has played a key part in the Reds’ defensive improvement.
Since Matip’s Premier League debut away to Tottenham Hotspur in August, Liverpool have conceded just nine goals in 11 games.
The Cameroonian has formed a strong partnership with Dejan Lovren, while Ragnar Klavan and Lucas Leiva have impressed when called upon in the League Cup.
With Joe Gomez returning from a year on the sidelines with an ACL injury to keep two clean sheets in two games alongside Sakho for the U23s, Klopp has a number of strong options to call upon.
Gomez is likely to make the step back into the first-team setup in the coming weeks, increasing the competition in Klopp’s ranks further, with Sakho dropping further down the ranks.
A January move would be sensible, given Klopp’s decision, and now Liverpool are simply left to find a buyer.