Friday 15 December 2017

Liverpool reject third Crystal Palace bid for Mamadou Sakho

Mamadou Sakho will join Palace
Mamadou Sakho will join Palace

Liverpool have turned down a third bid from Crystal Palace for defender Mamadou Sakho that again fell short of their £30million valuation.

Press Association Sport understands Eagles chairman Steve Parish offered £22million plus £3million in add-ons.

That means there remains a substantial gap between what Palace are willing to pay and the price the Reds have placed on the France international, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Selhurst Park.

West Brom and Leicester are also keen on the 27-year-old centre-back, who fell out of favour with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp last summer after a number of indiscretions.

Now it remains to be seen whether they, or Palace, can agree a fee for Sakho before the transfer window closes on Thursday.

One player who will not be at Anfield this season is m idfielder Naby Keita, but he will be a long-distance Liverpool supporter for the next year as he waits to complete his move from RB Leipzig.

The Guinea international finalised the terms of a club-record transfer which will see him remain in the Bundesliga until the end of the current campaign.

Klopp had wanted to sign the 22-year-old this summer, but, with Leipzig adamant the player would not be leaving, Liverpool opted for the next best option, even if it has cost them a premium.

The Reds could have waited 12 months and activated a £48million buy-out clause when it comes into effect, but were conscious they could have faced even more competition so have opted to pay an increased sum now to avoid an auction later.

"Until I join my new club, next summer, I will remain an interested supporter from a distance," Keita, who is set to take former captain Steven Gerrard's number eight shirt, told liverpoolfc.com.

"I am delighted that an agreement has been reached which will allow me to join Liverpool Football Club next summer, when I will become part of a project that excites me greatly.

"Having my future resolved means I can now focus on helping RBL achieve great things this season.

"My commitment to RBL remains absolute for the remainder of my time at the club. I have given my all every time I have worn the shirt - that will be the case until the final whistle, in my final appearance."

German newspaper Bild claims Liverpool will pay 75 million euros (£69.4million) should Leipzig qualify for next season's Champions League, 70 million euros (£64.8million) if Leipzig secure a Europa League place, or 65 million euros (£60.2million) should they fail to earn a place in Europe.

Leipzig rejected a Liverpool bid of £66million to sell Keita immediately in July, as they wanted to keep a player who scored eight goals in 31 Bundesliga appearances in his debut season after joining from Red Bull Salzburg.

"It was always clear to us that Naby Keita plays with us this season - and that was not negotiable either," chief executive Oliver Mintzlaff told Leipzig's website.

"He is an outstanding player and an important part of our successful team. With the current solution, we can now fully concentrate on the exciting sporting tasks."

Liverpool are still keen to add to their squad before the transfer window closes on Thursday, but are experiencing similar problems in their pursuit of Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar, with the Ligue 1 side reluctant to sell.

Having seen a bid of £65million rejected, Liverpool are considering improving that by £10million, with the possibility of using Belgium striker Divock Origi as a makeweight in the deal.

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