With wild rumours circulating regarding his future on Merseyside, Liverpool have moved to squash any talk of an impending departure for highly rated defender Mamadou Sakho by offering the Frenchman a new long-term contract that would see the 25-year old not only extend his stay at Anfield, but get a healthy bump in wages in the process.
Whether or not he takes the deal could depend on what his first team chances look like with the defender left out of the squad for the Reds first two matches of the season. Dejan Lovren, who did little to inspire confidence during a shaky first season at Liverpool, played partner to veteran Reds defender Martin Skrtel as the Anfield outfit picked up full points against both Stoke City and newly promoted AFC Bournemouth while the experienced Kolo Toure watched from the bench — something that hasn’t set well with the former Paris St. Germain captain having left France in search of more playing time.
In a web chat yesterday, well respected journalist and Liverpool insider Tony Barrett said that Sakho’s exclusion from the team came on the back of fitness problems and was meant to motivate the 25-year old to fight for his place in the side. Despite all that, with playing time paramount to his chances of making the France squad for Euro 2016, the Anfield outfit have been forced to rebuff loan inquires from Italian side AS Roma and German outfit Bayer Leverkusen over the past week with the Bundesliga giants believed to be ready to return with a bid to take him to the BayArena on a permanent basis.
The Reds, meanwhile, remain adamant that the French defender is not for sale with their offer of a new contract not only extending an olive branch to ease the current tension, but a reminder that his considerable talents are still needed around Anfield. According to the Guardian, the Reds will bump Sakho’s salary up from his current £75,000 a week to a lot closer to the £100,000 a week mark — an amount many teams outside of England wouldn’t be able to match.
More on this as it develops…