At the end of the season, Mamadou Sakho was Crystal Palace’s top offseason transfer target. Then, Sam Allardyce stepped down, announcing he was retiring as a manager. Any talk of Sakho ending up at Palace was moved to the back-burner as The Eagles searched for a replacement.
Now they have one in Frank de Boer, but the new Palace manager wants to spend a few weeks running the rule over the players he already has at the club before deciding what to do in the transfer market, and that likely ends any chance of Sakho ending up back at the London club.
"He was certainly impressive and important last season, but we will look at what we need," De Boer noted when meeting the press at his unveiling. "First I need to see all the players and get a good opinion on them. I know a lot about the team, but it's different when a new manager comes in.”
De Boer added that that he needs “to see them live to see if my opinion changes,” and that any big decisions about transfer deals—either incoming or outgoing—will have to wait. In the meantime, Liverpool players are only days away from beginning to report back for their pre-season.
For Sakho, that means a return to Liverpool, something all parties had hoped to avoid and that might have been had Allardyce stayed on. And while De Boer’s priority will be to see what he has, Liverpool’s and Sakho’s will now be to find a permanent home for him as soon as possible.
Most recently, Sakho has been linked with a move to Stoke City, and if The Potters are willing to match the £30M asking price, he could be off the market long before De Boer and Palace have decided on their summer plans.