Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has acknowledged the huge impact Mamadou Sakho has had on the Eagles – and hopes to beat down Liverpool over their asking price.
The on-loan Reds defender has played a huge role in helping the Eagles pull clear of relegation this season, having arrived on a temporary deal from Liverpool in January.
After six months of inactivity, nobody quite knew what to expect from the former PSG star, but his performances have been top-notch and Palace are hoping to seal a permanent summer switch.
However, with the likes of Southampton, West Ham, Nice and Marseille also keen on Sakho, Tuesday’s Paper Talk said the Reds had placed an eye-watering £30million asking price on Sakho’s head. That’s a good £10million more than suitors could have signed the player for last summer.
However, Parish refuses to give up on a permanent deal and hopes his club can barter Liverpool down over the fee, in much the same way they did Christian Benteke last summer.
“You can’t con anyone that he didn’t make a massive difference,” Parish said, talking to the Holmesdale Radio podcast after the victory against Hull.
“We won some massive games with him. He’s a really nice person, a big character, he’s got the respect of all the players, and it’s one we’d like to do. But, of course, we have a lot of things we need to do in the summer, and the money needs to work for us and for Liverpool.”
Referring to last summer’s protracted negotiations with the Reds over the club-record signing of Benteke, Parish continued: “I’m sure there’ll be a negotiation on that. If we can make it work, of course we’d like to, I’m not going to try and be coy or clever on that.
“He’s a very good player and I think he likes being with us. We like him. Let’s hope we can do it.”