We are a little over a week into February and the transfer mill is already turning at pace. While the frenetic rush to sign players has subsided, concerned managers are laying the groundwork for the summer and frustrated players are sounding out potential places of employment.
Mamadou Sakho is one of those. The PSG defender, who is a graduate of their academy, is angling for a move away according to the Daily Express. The 22-year-old, who finds his position under threat, said:
I cannot accept playing just a few minutes this season and next because this is a decisive moment in my career.
At the end of the season I will sit down with my agent and club officials and clear up the situation. If I have to leave PSG to keep my place in the France national team, then I have no choice but to leave.”
With Arsenal and Liverpool mentioned as possible destinations, here are five Sakho facts.
Despite his formative years, Sakho has a sizeable bank of experience to call on. Since making his debut as a 17-year-old in 2007, he has made 139 appearances for the Parc Des Princes outfit. His progress has stalled, however, with the club’s Qatari owners investing heavily.
The burly defender has 11 caps and is pushing for a role at the 2014 World Cup- provided France qualify. He has also played for France at every level from under-16 to the senior side – another factor that has attracted clubs.
Like so many others, Sakho seems keen to test himself in England. Arsenal and Liverpool face a fight from Newcastle if he does leave, but all will be confident they can lure him away from the PSG project. He said:
I adore the English Premier League.”
At 6ft 2in he is the ideal height for a defender and is strong in the tackle. Arsenal, specifically, have struggled at times to combine their artful attacking with consistent defending. Liverpool, meanwhile, could view him as a direct replacement for Jamie Carragher who is retiring at the end of the season.
In his time at PSG he has won the Coupe de la Ligue (French League Cup) in 2008, and the Coupe de France (French Cup) in 2010. PSG boss Carlo Ancelotti wants him to stay, but the signs point to another crossing of the channel.