Liverpool need to sell Crystal Palace target Mamadou Sakho if they have no plans to utilise him according to John Aldridge, who has urged his former side to draft in defensive cover before the end of the transfer window.
Sakho, 27, was frozen out of the first-team picture by Reds boss Jurgen Klopp last summer and has not been able to change the German's mind in the months that have followed. The former Paris Saint-Germain defender impressed while on loan at Crystal Palace, but his encouraging performances have not swayed Klopp, who was infuriated by Sakho's behaviour on a pre-season tour of America.
Aldridge, who enjoyed a prolific but brief spell at Liverpool between 1987 and 1989, believes the Reds need to sell Sakho if Klopp does not want to integrate him back into the first team set-up at Anfield, even if it means they do not receive a fee close to their £30m valuation.
"The clean sheet was a positive on Saturday with just the chance created by [Ruben] Loftus-Cheek stretching us," Aldridge wrote in his column for the Liverpool Echo.
"But we still need defensive reinforcement because of the Mamadou Sakho situation. We've got to make a decision on whether to take a hit on the fee but there's no good him moping around the place. If you're not going to use him, you've got to get rid and get what you can for him.
"Unless Klopp turns face and uses him. Will the manager do that? We don't know. If that's not an option he needs to get rid and get someone in. We need cover in there - we obviously know who we want but if that's not on then there must be someone out there."
Crystal Palace were more than enamoured by Sakho during his spell at Selhurst Park, but manager Frank de Boer said that the Eagles simply can't afford to pay the current £30m asking price.
Palace have signed two defenders already this summer in the form of Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Jairo Riedewald, but De Boer is keen to further bolster his backline. Along with Crystal Palace, West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion are also monitoring Sakho, who joined Liverpool from PSG for £18m.
Liverpool's pursuit of Southampton captain Virgil van Dijk has been well publicised this summer, but the Saints remain adamant that they will not sell the Netherlands international, who recently submitted a transfer request. Van Dijk has made no secret of his desire to link up with Reds manager Jurgen Klopp, who is prepared to tackle the new season with the defence he already has if a deal for the Dutchman fails to materialise.