Liverpool: Sakho told to leave; £20m bid for Englishman; Balotelli latest
Transfer deadline day looks as if it will be a very busy one for Liverpool. Despite Jurgen Klopp acquiring seven new faces to boost his already talented squad, the Reds are still without a replacement left-back for Alberto Moreno, and still perhaps short of a really hard tackling defensive midfielder.
No names have been strongly linked in either position, but left-back has been a problem for the Reds for some time, and injury to Emre Can on Germany duty (perhaps following on from a problem picked up at Burton) could convince Klopp he needs to dive into the transfer market to pick up another defensive midfielder as back up.
Whilst these rumours will develop throughout the day, all of the current activity at Anfield regards outgoing players rather than anyone coming in, and the biggest name linked with an exit is Mamadou Sakho, who has been told by the club that he must go out on loan for the new season.
Sakho; a massive part of Liverpool’s back-line last season, has seemingly fallen out of favour with Jurgen Klopp after doping allegations and behaviour issues on the club’s pre-season tour of the United States. Still short of fitness, Klopp has decided that Sakho would be wise to head out on loan for the season to prove to the manager he has the desire to succeed at Anfield.
The signings of Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan seem to have relegated Sakho down the pecking order at Anfield, but if he leaves it would leave the Reds slightly short of numbers in central defence. Still, despite the potential problems it could cause, the manager has decided that first team football is what Sakho needs at this time, and at 26, it is hard to disagree.
Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion and Sunderland are the sides most heavily linked with the signing of Sakho, and where he goes depends much on other activity. Sunderland have already turned down the chance to sign the Frenchman on loan, but things may change if Lamine Kone’s proposed move to Everton starts to pick up pace.
A move to West Brom would perhaps be the best option for Sakho, as he would be playing in a strong defensive unit under Tony Pulis, showing Jurgen Klopp his defensive talents throughout the season. His European experience would be of great help to any of the three mid-table clubs, though, and it is now up to Sakho, who is reluctant to leave, to chose where he wants to go.
One player who will be remaining at Liverpool is striker Danny Ings, who has reportedly been the subject of a lot of interest this summer, including a bid in excess of £20 million.
Ings’ debut season at Anfield was cut short by a horrible cruciate ligament injury, and he has yet to feature this campaign as he looks to recover his full fitness.
This meant that as many as eight clubs considered Ings as an available player, but it appears that the striker will remain at Liverpool and fight for his place over the course of the season.
Ings’ high energy style looks perfect for Jurgen Klopp’s heavy pressing game, and once he regains full fitness, he is likely to become an important member of the squad, if not the first eleven. He still must prove he has recovered from his injury, but Ings still has a big part to play at Anfield this season.
Finally, Mario Balotelli looks to be closing in on a move to Nice, and will just be the first of many unwanted names to be heading out of Anfield on deadline day.
Balotelli’s loan to Nice will mark the end of his Liverpool career, which was a disaster from start to finish, featuring just one Premier League goal alongside a complete mismatch of styles between team and player. Reds fans will be happy to see Balotelli finally depart.
Leaving alongside Balotelli will be Luis Alberto, who looks to have settled on a move to Lazio, Andre Wisdom, who is expected to move to Red Bull Salzburg and Lazar Markovic, who is stewing over a move to Sporting Lisbon.
Neither Wisdom or Alberto will be particularly missed, but the £15 million sale of Markovic could come back to bite Liverpool. Considered to be one of the best talents in Europe when they signed him for £20 million two summers ago, a decent first season followed by an injury-hit loan spell at Fenerbahce has convinced Liverpool to sell the 22-year-old for a loss.
He could still have had a role to play in the squad, and his sale represents another failure by the club to sensibly reinvest the money received for Luis Suarez.
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