Despite Liverpool making Mamadou Sakho available to leave on a short-term loan deal last week, the French international is still at Anfield.
Manager Jürgen Klopp had told Sakho that he needed to leave Liverpool temporarily in order to return to peak mental and physical fitness, but his determination to earn his place in Klopp’s immediate plans has seen him turn down moves to West Brom and Stoke.
However, according to the Liverpool Echo today, Klopp has reiterated to Sakho that he must leave the club for now if he wants to salvage his long-term Anfield career – and that the consequences of him staying could do serious damage to his progression.
Klopp is set to persevere with the centre-back pairing of Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren – with Ragnar Klavan, Joe Gomez and Lucas Leiva as backup – so does not have an immediate need to keep Sakho around for the season. The 26-year-old would therefore find it extremely difficult to nail down a starting spot in Klopp’s preferred starting eleven this year.
In fact, the Mail have gone as far as to say that there is “no chance” that the defender will play for Liverpool this season, adding to their determination that he leave the club tomorrow.
Sakho has endured a troubled few months – first allegedly failing a drugs test (that he was later cleared of) which caused him to miss the Europa League final. He was then sent home by Klopp from the club’s pre-season training camp in the US due to disciplinary issues, form which his their relationship seems yet to recover from.
Finally, he has missed the start of the Premier League season through injury, allowing new signings Matip and Klavan to pull ahead of him in the pecking order.
The likelihood is still that he will leave on loan tomorrow, and while he still holds out hope that bigger clubs than West Brom and Stoke will come in for him, he may have to lessen his ambition somewhat.