Mamadou Sakho: Crystal Palace sign Liverpool defender for £26m

By Phil McNultyChief football writer
Mamadou Sakho
Mamadou Sakho (right) has won 28 caps for France

Crystal Palace have signed centre-back Mamadou Sakho from Liverpool for £26m.

The offer was Palace's fourth of the summer for the defender, 27, after a £25m bid was rejected on Tuesday.

Liverpool previously said they would not take less than £30m for the French international, who had a loan spell at Selhurst Park last season.

"I loved the challenge last year," said Sakho. "It was difficult but beautiful and it's why this summer I thought that Palace was the best choice."

Palace had also made bids for Everton striker Oumar Niasse and Manchester City defender Eliaquim Mangala but were unable to complete either deal.

Senegal's Niasse, who had also been a £10m target for Brighton,external-link spent last year at Hull, where he scored five goals in 20 games.

And Mangala was the subject of a failed £23m offer from the Selhurst Park club.

Palace instead refocused their efforts on recruiting Sakho, who was surplus to requirements at Anfield after falling out of favour with manager Jurgen Klopp.

Palace chairman Steve Parish was successful with his latest offer after a bid worth £22m plus £3m in add-ons was turned down.

But having made a slight compromise, Liverpool have turned a profit on a player they signed for £18m from Paris St-Germain in September 2013.

Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion had also been interested in the defender but it is believed a return to London was always his favoured option.

Sakho established himself as a favourite during his loan spell last season, making the club's player of the season shortlist despite managing just eight appearances before picking up a knee injury.

Palace have started the season with three Premier League defeats under new manager Frank de Boer.

Mamadou Sakho
Sakho's return was marked by a video of the defender himself saying, "the soldier is back"

Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.

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