Southampton will target Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho if Virgil van Dijk agitates for a move to Chelsea

With Chelsea and Manchester City both weighing up moves for Van Dijk this summer, Southampton could look to sign Liverpool's Sakho, currently on loan at Crystal Palace

Southampton may look to replace Van Dijk (l) with Sakho
Southampton may look to replace Van Dijk (l) with Sakho

Southampton want to sign Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho if Virgil van Dijk leaves the club this summer, according to reports.

Sakho’s time at Liverpool began to turn sour after he tested positive for a substance on Uefa’s anti-doping list, which led to the defender being banned for 30-days before eventually being cleared of any offence.

On his return to the Liverpool first-team Sakho was accused of ‘showing a lack of respect’ on a pre-season tour of the United States, with Jürgen Klopp deciding to send the player back to the UK and forcing him to train with the reserves.

The Frenchman eventually joined Crystal Palace on a loan spell, where he has impressed for Sam Allardyce’s side, helping the club to keep consecutive clean sheets in his first three matches.

However, Palace do not have an option in the loan agreement to purchase the player at the end of his spell with the club, with the Mirror reporting that Southampton will attempt to take advantage of this by bidding for the 27-year-old at the end of the season.

Sakho's time at Liverpool turned sour

Liverpool paid PSG £18.5m for Sakho back in 2013 and will likely attempt to recuperate that sum if the player moves on this summer.

Southampton are eager to boost their defensive options after selling Jose Fonte to West Ham in January and with Virgil van Dijk’s future looking increasingly uncertain.

The Telegraph report that Chelsea have moved into pole position in the race to sign 25-year-old Van Dijk, with Manchester City also keen.

Southampton are thought to want in excess of £50m for the Dutchman, which would top the £47.5m Manchester City paid for John Stones last season, to make him the most expensive defender in Premier League history.

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