According to reports in France, Lyon are getting set for a summer of change and will be targeting two new starting centre halves, a left back, and a striker. And high on their list of potential targets to rebuild their defence is out of favour Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho, who spent the spring off on loan at Crystal Palace.
Lyon are set to sell Alexandre Lacazette this summer and expect a major windfall from that sale to help purchase a major, squad-wide overhaul. They also expect to see the departures of Nicolas Nkoulou and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa in defence, and will need to bring in two starting centre halves to replace the departing duo.
Dutch international Simon Kjaer is considered the favourite to be one of those, but if the pieces fall right, L’Equipe believe that Lyon would like to partner him with Sakho, though they admit that even with the club expected to be flush with cash, his signing could prove to be rather complicated.
In part that’s because of Liverpool’s £30M price tag. It’s also because of the fact that Sakho is likely to expect wages in the £80-100K range. One or the other might be in Lyon’s reach, but both probably aren’t for any continental club outside the very upper echelon. Lyon might want Sakho, but that wouldn’t be enough.
For a transfer to take place, it’s likely that Sakho would have to prefer a move to Lyon over other options—options like staying at Palace or moving to another mid-table English club with money to burn—and take a pay cut in order to get a deal done. Depending on the player’s priorities, though, Lyon could be an option.
By most reports, Crystal Palace remain slight favourites to end up with Sakho permanently this summer, though there have also been rumours linking the player with a move to one of Italy’s sides competing in Europe next season.