Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho is getting closer to leaving Anfield before Wednesday’s transfer deadline, but has turned down a move to Stoke City, despite reports suggesting he would join the Potters on loan.
Sakho was a key player under Jurgen Klopp last season, making 35 appearances. However, a suspension following a failed drugs test and disciplinary action during the Reds’ pre-season tour of America this summer means that he has been forced to train on his own.
The 26-year old reportedly turned up late for a flight, before distracting Klopp as the manager was conducting an interview. As a result, Klopp sent Sakho home and the defender has not featured at all this season.
Sakho is said to be undecided over whether to fight for his place at Liverpool, or seek first team football elsewhere. If he does look for a move, Stoke had hoped to be first in line to land the defender. Potters boss Mark Hughes wanted Sakho to provide competition for current centre backs Geoff Cameron and Ryan Shawcross.
A move to the Britannia Stadium would have been exactly what Sakho needs to resurrect his Premier League career. The big defender would have complemented Stoke’s physical style, but his time at Liverpool would also have prepared him for the more attacking style Hughes has tried to implement at Stoke over recent seasons.
The former PSG man has also rejected a loan move to West Brom, according to the BBC. Sakho’s decision now leaves him in limbo at Liverpool, under a manager who is unwilling to forgive the player for challenges to his authority.
Sakho appears to have little chance of making his way back into the Liverpool team under Jurgen Klopp. Even though he is prepared to fight for his place, a loan move to Stoke or West Brom would have suited all parties. Now, the defender faces a crucial 24-hours before the transfer window shuts that could well determine his future.