Christian Benteke says he is trying to persuade on-loan Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho to stay at Crystal Palace.
Sakho arrived at Selhurst Park in February and he has gone on to make eight appearances before he injured his knee in the 1-0 defeat to Spurs.
The centre-back has been the cornerstone of Palace’s rise away from the drop zone and record-signing Benteke is desperate to get Sakho on board next season.
“I’m trying to persuade him to stay but it will be tough,” Benteke told the Evening Standard. “He’ll have offers from other clubs, although our chairman and boss will try to get him to stay too.
“He’s made such a difference to us. First, we have to make sure we remain in the Premier League – but we’re not far away now.”
Sakho is unlikely to play again this season after picking up a knee problem, but the centre-back will be in demand this summer with his future at Liverpool looking bleak.
Palace manager Sam Allardyce has revealed the club are keen to Sakho permanently at the end of his loan spell, but has said there is no first-option clause to buy the player.
“There isn’t a clause because his deal was done in the Bournemouth corridor by me after we had won 2-0, and Steve (Parish, Palace’s chairman) finishing the negotiation over the phone to try and secure Mama,” said Allardyce.
Sakho does have a deal at Anfield until 2020 and the player last month claimed he would be happy to return, but is unsure whether he is welcome by Jurgen Klopp.
“I still have a contract for three more years. If I were to wear the Liverpool jersey again, I would be happy to do so,” Sakho told Telefoot.
“I was late for training, something that happens everywhere. I paid a fine and I do not know what else I can do.
“It is up to the boss. He makes the decisions and I can only acceptwe will see what happens if my future is elsewhere.”
Klopp, speaking in March, told SFR Sport “we will see” when asked about the player’s future.