Mamadou Sakho has, almost inevitably, been linked with a move away from Anfield this week. The defender, who failed to make the squad for Sunday’s win over Stoke City, is said to considering his future after not making the cut – an assertion which Liverpool firmly reject.
The original report, which comes via Football Italia, suggests that Roma want Sakho to partner Lyon’s Samuel Umtiti – once a rumoured Reds target (via the Daily Star) – in a new look defence, as they prepare to sell former Newcastle United centre-back Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
Their story has since been picked up on by the Liverpool Echo, who assure us that the defender is not for sale.
(Video) Former Liverpool keeper Martin Hansen goes viral with last minute wondergoal
Kaka tells Liverpool they must build team for Coutinho, and rates new £29m signing as well
Lucas update: Midfielder not officially for sale, but Liverpool open to selling
So where has their story come from?
Well, while it is true that Sakho missed Sunday’s game – with Dejan Lovren starting alongside Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure selected ahead of him on the bench – the Frenchman’s second child was born earlier that week and the 25-year-old is unlikely to have trained in full in the build-up to the match.
That possible distraction would also explain his bit-part role in the Far East tour – with Brendan Rodgers favouring the partnership of Lovren and Skrtel with the understanding that they would likely be his starting pair at the Britannia Stadium for the opening game of our new campaign.
Football Italia have simply attempted to make more out of his absence than what there is.
Sakho remains an important part of Rodgers’ squad and, as a man five years Skrtel’s junior, has every chance of establishing himself as a defensive parter for Lovren over the course of the season. Both players were marquee buys for Rodgers during the last two summers and the Northern Irishman must have hoped when he purchased the Croat from Southampton that he would eventually succeed Skrtel and join Sakho at the heart of our back four.
Several issues – Sakho’s injuries and Lovren’s poor form – have so far prevented that, two factors that will have contributed towards us offering Skrtel a new long-term contract this summer. However, if Rodgers had truly lost faith in either player then we would have seen someone new come in during the close season.
So, sorry Roma, you’re going to have to look elsewhere. We hear that Jose Enrique is available…