Liverpool are making plans should Mamadou Sakho’s Thursday hearing go badly and our much-loved French defender receives a suspension ahead of the new season.
He’s currently available, but that could all change should UEFA decide the fat burner he ingested last term should have been on the banned list. Sakho will find out in Paris tomorrow.
If the centre-back does pick up a ban, Liverpool will need to move in the transfer market and bring in cover, with Martin Skrtel on the verge of a departure to Fenerbahce (via Fanatik) – leaving us with only Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip as senior centre-back options. (Joe Gomez will compete for minutes, but is still a teenager and recovering from a long-term injury.)
A report from talkSPORT indicates that while Besiktas want Vermaelen on loan, we’ve put £12m aside should we need the Belgian permanently.
This, for us, is odd. Why we wouldn’t also loan the 30-year-old, until Sakho’s ban is over, baffles us. Surely a temporary deal makes far more sense than spending such a significant sum on an injury prone player approaching his latter years?
Vermaelen is a talented defender, but his stock fell towards the end of his Arsenal tenure and he’s barely featured for Barcelona since arriving at the club two seasons ago. We wouldn’t be against a loan deal, but would be shaking our heads in disbelief if we paid the reported £12m.