In an unexpected twist, doubts have been cast over the future of French defender Mamadou Sakho just weeks after he was cleared of doping charges and recovered from an Achilles injury. The Guardian are one of many sources to report that the central defender has been sent home from the club’s US tour by Jurgen Klopp after concerns over his attitude.
It wouldn’t be the first time that there have been issues with Sakho’s attitude, after he walked out of Anfield after being dropped for a Merseyside derby under Brendan Rodgers, and Klopp has acted quickly. With Sakho still not fully fit, he was invited on the tour for team bonding purposes, but some believe that he has been too relaxed, and that may well put his relationship with Klopp in danger and could cost him a place in the side when he returns to fitness.
There have also been reports, this time in the Express, that the Reds could revive their interest from January in Swansea striker Andre Ayew. A number of clubs, including Chelsea and Manchester City are considering a move for the Ghanian to add depth to their squads, after an impressive debut Premier League season.
Ayew may be a relatively cheap option when compared to some, and would be a good replacement for the likes of Christian Benteke and Mario Balotelli should they depart, and certainly is a better fit for the Klopp style of play. In this case, it couldn’t come at a better time as rumours in the Liverpool Echo suggest that Besiktas could be set to make an offer for the Italian reject, though it is likely to be a loan as they would be unable to fulfill his wage demands.
There has also been a surprise as reports from Portugal claim that the father of Portugal’s star winger at the Euros, Joao Mario, has said that the player’s club, Sporting, have rejected a £33 million offer for the Euro 2016 winner. Mario is in demand, with another bid from Inter Milan also mentioned by his father, and more clubs said to be interested.
It would be assumed that the bid for Mario took place before signing Georgino Wijnaldum, and possibly also before signing Sadio Mane, as there seems to be little room for another attacking midfielder in the current Reds squad. That means that is unlikely that the Reds will be going back with another offer to try to lure the Portuguese star to Anfield.
One player who may be easier to attract would be PSV’s Dutch left back Jetro Willems. The 22 year old shared a photoshopped version of himself signing a contract in Liverpool training gear on his Snapchat, and told his friend and new LFC signing Georgino Wijnaldum that they would see each other soon, claim the Metro.
Whilst the player denies any serious meaning behind the two stories, PSV may well be keen to sell with only one year left on the youngster’s contract, and Anfield would be a good destination for Willems to compete with Alberto Moreno in order to prove himself and fight for a return to European football for the club.
There’s also a sad story emerging, as cult hero and current longest serving player, Lucas Leiva is linked with a £2.5 million move to Galatasaray by the Liverpool Echo. The Brazilian is currently out with a hamstring injury, but his opportunities seem limited under Klopp, who prefers quicker and more mobile midfielders.
Reds fans will be sad to see Lucas leave, as the player is clearly passionate about the club and has always given his all. If he were to stay, he could undoubtedly fulfill a role as a squad player, but a move could well be the best option for all parties concerned.
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