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.
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.
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.