Mamadou Sakho was frozen out at Liverpool for the entirety of the autumn and then unceremoniously loaned out to Crystal Palace at the end of January after the club spent the month trying, and failing, to offload him permanently. Apparently that hasn't stopped some from daydream about a glorious, triumphant return.
And not even one that comes in the summer and sees Liverpool head into next season with Sakho starting alongside Joël Matip. No, some people managed to get it into their heads that Sakho might return to Liverpool this season; for the final six games. Jürgen Klopp would like you to know that isn't going to happen.
"There is no clause in the loan contract," Klopp told reporters at his pre-match press conference today when he was rather bizarrely asked if Sakho might be recalled to the club before the end of the season. He also confirmed that Crystal Palace do not have a purchase option, meaning Sakho will go on the market shortly.
Recall clauses in senior player loans are rare, and a recall in a half season loan to another Premier League side would be unheard of. Add in Sakho's situation leading up to the loan, and it's difficult to imagine how anyone would have ended up even considering that it might be a possibility. Still, question asked and answered.
That it was, though, reflects a continuing unhappiness amongst large portions of the Liverpool fanbase over the way the Sakho case was handled. While Liverpool fans remain massively behind the manager in the larger picture, Sakho remains probably the one sore point—the one issue many fans see differently to Klopp.
It hasn't been helped by Sakho being Palace's most important player since moving there, a player who looks like he would be first choice for nearly any top side, and who journalists with ties to the club believe Liverpool will try to get £30M for on the transfer market. Still, cliche soundbyte or not, the reality is what it is.
Sakho will not play for Liverpool again, and certainly not before the end of the current season. That's not a question worth asking the manager about, it's a simple fact.