LONDON, ENGLAND - Monday, August 20, 2018: Crystal Palace's Mamadou Sakho during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ex-Liverpool defender confirms surprise transfer 7 months after walking out on club

Seven months after terminating his contract at Montpellier following a dispute with his manager, ex-Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho has landed a new club.

“You have to know how to leave the table when respect is no longer served,” was Sakho’s message when he left Montpellier in November.

His exit came after reports of a confrontation with manager Michel Der Zakarian in training, which led to the centre-back walking off the pitch and being labelled a “cry-baby.”

Sakho was then claimed to have grabbed Der Zakarian by the collar, prompting the coach to fall over and a “family chain” around his neck to break.

The 34-year-old, who spent four years at Liverpool and became a cult hero among fans, spent seven months out of action before finding a new club.

His next venture comes in Georgia, joining FC Torpedo Kutaisi, the Erovnuli Liga side now managed by former Blackburn manager Steve Kean.

The club confirmed their deal on Tuesday, with Sakho acting as an ambassador for the club along with his playing duties, including a role mentoring academy players.

RMC Sport report that he will sign an initial one-year contract with an option for a further 12 months, arriving with Torpedo Kutaisi midway through their campaign and currently second in the table.

It serves as another twist in a controversy-laden career for Sakho, whose time at Liverpool was marred by issues with Jurgen Klopp and a ban for alleged doping offences.

The ban that dogged his career

DERBY, ENGLAND - Monday, November 28, 2016: Liverpool's Mamadou Sakho in action against Derby County during the FA Premier League 2 Under-23 match at Pride Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Frenchman was suspended by both FIFA and UEFA after testing positive for what was deemed a banned substance in 2016, which led him to miss the Europa League final and, ultimately, the European Championship with France.

He never played for Liverpool’s first team again, instead spending the first half of 2016/17 with the U21s.

UEFA later dismissed the case, as the weight-loss supplements Sakho had taken were determined not to have been on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s prohibited list.

Sakho sought reparation for the damages caused by the case and his ban, with WADA apologising after trial and reaching a financial settlement with the player.

Crystal Palace's Christian Benteke celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with Mamadou Sakho during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool.

The controversy undoubtedly blighted his career, however, with Sakho joining Crystal Palace after a successful loan in 2017 before returning to France with Montpellier in 2021.

He has not played for his country since 2018, with his first and only cap after the 2016 ban coming in a 1-0 friendly win over Uruguay.

Back in 2007, Sakho became the youngest-ever player to captain Paris Saint-Germain at just 17 years and eight months.