Jurgen Klopp has remained coy regarding Mamadou Sakho's future at Liverpool, claiming that the formerly banished centre-back needs to return to full fitness before a decision on his involvement can be made.

Sakho did not make a single appearance for the Reds in 2016-17 after being sent home early from a pre-season tour of the United States and was eventually loaned to Crystal Palace on the final day of the January transfer window.

Despite being ended prematurely by an initially serious-looking knee injury that saw him stretchered out of a 1-0 home defeat by Tottenham Hotspur in April, Sakho's short stint at Selhurst Park proved to be a roaring success.

Palace kept five clean sheets during his eight appearances and he even found himself nominated alongside the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke for the club's player of the season award.

Sakho has unsurprisingly been frequently linked with a permanent switch to South London, although The Guardian now report that the Eagles have accepted that Liverpool's refusal to lower their £30m ($38.8m) asking price means they will not be able to make a permanent deal happen.

With Frank de Boer now steering the ship following the surprise departure of Sam Allardyce, Palace are said to be closing in on the signing of versatile Ajax defender Jairo Riedewald.

Such a stance appears to have left Sakho in limbo as he continues to recover from bruised and strained ligaments, although Klopp did not completely close the door on the French international when asked if he might play again for Liverpool as they step up their preparations for the 2017-18 season.

"First of all he needs to get 100% fit and then we will see," the manager was quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo on Wednesday evening (12 July) after watching his side open their pre-season campaign with a comfortable 4-0 victory over non-league Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park.

The same publication reports that Sakho is currently continuing rehabilitation work on his own at Melwood.

Liverpool face Wigan Athletic on Friday and then travel to Hong Kong, where they will place Crystal Palace in the Premier League Asia Trophy. The Reds later meet Hertha Berlin before an appearance at the Audi Cup is followed by a final friendly against Athletic Bilbao in Dublin.

Mamadou Sakho
Could Mamadou Sakho have a future at Liverpool after all? Ian MacNicol/Getty images