Liverpool have rejected a £25 million bid from Crystal Palace for out-of-favour centre-back Mamadou Sakho, as they push for their full valuation.
Sakho’s future is high on the agenda for the Reds before Thursday’s deadline, with Palace joined by Leicester City and West Brom in pursuit.
But given the level of interest in the France international, Liverpool are in a strong position in negotiating the sale of a player who has not featured since the end of 2015/16.
As a result, widespread reports including from BBC Sport, the Telegraph and the Liverpool Echo have revealed Palace’s latest offer has been rejected.
The offer is said to have been worth an initial £22 million, plus a further £3 million in add-ons.
But with Liverpool valuing Sakho, whose contract expires in 2020, at £30 million, they are clearly not willing to budge on a deal any lower.
Sakho is said to favour a move to Selhurst Park, where he spent the second half of 2016/17 on loan, playing a key role in staving off relegation for another season.
With Sam Allardyce departing shortly after, however, to be replaced by Frank de Boer, Palace’s intention to return with a permanent offer came under doubt.
But this transpires to be the London club’s third bid of the summer, underlining their ambition to sign Liverpool’s No. 3 following a miserable start to the season.
Liverpool may be hoping that West Brom and Leicester begin a bidding war as they hold firm, with the Baggies in particular likely to be pushing for a new centre-back before Thursday’s deadline.
Jonny Evans remains a target for Man City, and if the Northern Irishman moves to the Etihad, Tony Pulis is reported to have set his sights on Sakho.
Rejecting Palace’s latest approach is a show of strength from the Reds, who have come into their own in the market in recent days, chiefly with the signing of Naby Keita from RB Leipzig.