Crystal Palace defender Mamadou Sakho is reportedly the number one summer window priority for Lyon who are hoping to bring him back to the Ligue 1.
Sakho started off in France, with Paris Saint-Germain’s youth team and signed his first professional contract with them in 2007. After making over 200 appearances for PSG, he was transferred to Liverpool in 2013 on a rumored £18 million transfer fee. He was only at the club for three years making 80 appearances for them before the arrival of Jurgen Klopp, and was demoted from the senior squad after lack of discipline.
He signed a permanent contract with Crystal Palace in 2017 after the end of a successful loan move, on a £24 million transfer.
According to reports from France, both L’Equipe and Le Parisien confirming that Lyon are ‘very interested’ in Sakho and that interest ‘seems to be mutual’ from both the sides.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas was recently asked about the rumors linking Lyon to the Palace defender while talking to Canal Football club.
Aulas admitted he was a fan of the 30-year-old but was not the one making the decisions regarding transfers, “I really like Mamadou because he has the right personality, now there are also other very high level tracks, so it’s up to the coaches to choose.”
Former France full-back Willy Sagnol said that he has advised Lyon against signing the ex-Liverpool man Sakho, “In terms of character, yes, I think he can bring a lot to this team. Lack of character has been a recurrent evil at Lyon for three or four years. But he can only bring it [character], if he plays and if he is not regularly injured.”
“It’s been a while since I saw Mamadou Sakho play for Crystal Palace. I think if he had been in good shape, we would have seen him again in the French national team. [But,] we haven’t seen him again. It is not very positive.”
The Frenchman has only about 12 months on his current contract and Palace will be looking to regain some of the fee they bought him for and it appears that a €10 million bid ‘could conclude the deal’.
Sakho has struggled with injuries and suspension this season, making only 8 appearances this season under Roy Hodgson and has only made 2 appearances for the French national team since 2015.
The club have a host of other defenders like Gary Cahill, James Tomkins, and youngster Riedewald who have been in good form this season. Sakho is now 30 and Palace should look to get rid of the Frenchman as long as he fetches a good price.
The Eagles have enough cover at the centre back spot and the transfer will help free up the massive wage bill he demands. The defender could have achieved great things at Crystal Palace, but a string of consistent injuries kept him on the sidelines for long intervals and the club should look to cash in on him while the interest is still there.