LEIGH, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 18, 2016: Liverpool's Mamadou Sakho warms-up before the FA Premier League 2 Under-23 match against Manchester United at Leigh Sports Village. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Roma join race for Mamadou Sakho, with Liverpool’s 2 replacement targets mooted

Serie A side AS Roma are believed to have joined Napoli and Southampton in pursuit of Liverpool centre-back Mamadou Sakho ahead of the summer.

Sakho has been in inspired form since joining Crystal Palace on loan at the end of the January transfer window, shining as part of Sam Allardyce’s bid to avoid relegation.

This has seen interest in the Frenchman increase, with Jurgen Klopp still set to part ways with his No. 3 after a major summer dispute.

According to Goal’s Melissa Reddy, Roma have moved to the front of the queue in the race to sign Sakho, having already scouted the Frenchman on a number of occasions in the past.

This will see them seek to replace the outgoing Kostas Manolas, who has been tipped to join Inter Milan at the end of the season.

Moving to Serie A would be an interesting step for Sakho, and Liverpool are reportedly eager to secure a £30 million deal for the 27-year-old, whose contract expires in 2020.

And given the magnitude of such a deal, Klopp is expected to prompt a big-money bid to sign an alternative to Sakho, as his side venture into European competition in 2017/18.

Southampton‘s Virgil van Dijk has already been mooted as a possible option, while Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly is also said to be on Liverpool’s radar.

Kalidou Koulibaly, Napoli (Nick Potts/EMPICS Sport)

Koulibaly, who is Sadio Mane‘s international team-mate for Senegal, has been in excellent form for Napoli throughout 2016/17, making 33 appearances in all competitions.

The 25-year-old has already been linked with both Everton and Chelsea, and admitted in March that a move to England would be attractive.

However, he did intimate that leaving Napoli was not a guarantee at this stage, simply saying “you never know.”

“It would make me happy to come and play here, but now I have to go to Napoli,” he explained.

“In the future you never know. Now I concentrate on my club and we will see next season what I have to do.

“I think I will stay in Napoli but you never know. I can’t talk about it now. We will see.”

While a swap deal is very rare in modern football, that both Southampton and Napoli have been credited with an interest in Sakho does make for an intriguing situation.

With Liverpool chasing both sides’ leading centre-back, positive relations could see all parties reach a positive solution during the summer transfer window.

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