Jurgen Klopp coy on Mamadou Sakho as Liverpool eye new centre-back
Liverpool will look to recruit a new centre-back in the summer transfer window, sources have told ESPN FC, while manager Jurgen Klopp says he is aware of Mamadou Sakho's form on loan at Crystal Palace.
Klopp has been left short of options in the heart of the defence at various points of the season due to lengthy absences from Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip.
Ragnar Klavan, a £4.2 million signing from Bundesliga side Augsburg, has made 24 appearances throughout the campaign, with midfielder Lucas Leiva sometimes deputising in defence.
Sources told ESPN FC in December that Klopp considered promising youngster Joe Gomez to be ready for the second half of the 2016-17 season after recovering from a 13-month layoff, but the 19-year-old has since gone on to make just three first-team appearances this term.
Liverpool are looking to add quality to the position in the summer, with Southampton's Virgil van Dijk reported to be a prime target.
A source has told ESPN FC that Liverpool have scouted the Netherlands international, but that happens to be the case with all other top clubs around Europe.
Sources in January said Liverpool consider the demand for centre-backs -- both domestically and in Europe -- to be huge.
Meanwhile, Klopp revealed on Thursday that there is "no clause" in Liverpool's loan agreement with Palace for the London club to sign Sakho on a permanent deal.
Sakho, who moved to Selhurst Park on a temporary deal in January, is helping Sam Allardyce's side maintain their Premier League status.
While Klopp admitted that he is aware of Sakho's impressive performances for the Eagles, the Liverpool manager refused to be drawn into whether the Frenchman had any future at Anfield.
"I see a lot of Premier League games so I see Crystal Palace too and I see how he is playing there and all this stuff," Klopp said.
"But there is nothing to say in this moment because you can imagine like all the plans we have for next season, we speak about behind closed doors. In the moment when we have to say something, we will say something."
Allardyce has said that any talks over a deal to sign Sakho permanently would only take place when Palace are safe.
Sakho has not played for Liverpool in almost a year after being frozen out of the fold for numerous disciplinary issues.
Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.