Palace Boss Won’t Make Sakho Promise, Saints Stand Firm on Van Dijk

When the transfer window is open, things change quickly; misfit Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho looked set to make his loan move to Crystal Palace permanent after he shunned a return to the Reds and instead stayed with the Croydon club while he recovered from a knee injury he picked up in the closing stages of the season, but the Frenchman has since returned to Melwood with the Eagles sounding increasingly unsure of their ability to draft in the talented 27-year old.

“He was certainly impressive and important last season, but we will look at what we need,” said the new Palace boss Frank de Boer, staying non-commital over the club’s interest in signing Sakho permanently. “First of all I need to see all the players and get a good opinion on them,” continued the Dutchman, keeping his cards close to his chest. “I know a lot about the team, but it’s different when a new manager comes in. Already I have my opinion, but I need to see them live to see if my opinion changes.”

Getting the 27-year old off the books will be a high priority for Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, but drafting in a replacement for the mercurial defender will be that much higher on the list. There’s still whispers that the Reds will re-ignite their interest in Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk despite their embarassing backdown over an “illegal approach” for the Dutchman, but the more things change during the silly season, the more they very much stay the same.

“None of those players are for sale,” said Les Reed, Southampton’s executive director when asked about van Dijk and rumoured Tottenham Hotspur target Cedric Soares. “I can’t make it any plainer than that and that’s the way we mean to go forward,” added the Saints director, sticking to the party line. “We built this squad over some time and think we have a strong squad. We will fine-tune it but, other than that, we are looking forward to a very competitive season next year and we plan to go forward on that basis.”

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