In the aftermath of the news that Mamadou Sakho is not challenging his failed drugs test for a fat burner, and will therefore face a significant ban, Liverpool have supposedly made a formal offer for Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen, Catalan paper Sport suggests.
The Guardian broke the news that our French defender is not submitting a B-sample, meaning he’s guaranteed a suspension – potentially up to two years but hopefully only six months if mitigating circumstances are taking into account.
Vermaelen moved to Barcelona from Arsenal in 2014, but has barely played since due to injury and the likes of Pepe, Javier Mascherano and Jeremy Mathieu ahead of him in the pecking order.
The report says Liverpool will pay no more than £8m for his services, so Barcelona will wait to see if fellow interested parties such as West Ham and Besiktas raise the bidding.
The Belgian captained Arsenal and was at one point rated as one of the best defenders in the Premier League, but his form dropped and his stock fell dramatically.
His move to Barcelona has been a pretty succinct failure.
As a result, there’ll be plenty of Liverpool fans who’ll believe we shouldn’t be targeting Vermaelen and should be aiming for more ambitious centre-backs.
Joel Matip is arriving in the summer, and Joe Gomez will return from a long lay-off, but if this report is to be believed, it appears the club is already preparing for Sakho’s absence.