Mamadou Sakho's future in the Premier League was thrown into further doubt on Tuesday after Sunderland turned down the chance to sign him on loan from Liverpool.
According to the Daily Mail, Jurgen Klopp was hoping to rid himself of the French centre-back on a temporary basis by allowing him to leave for another Premier League club.
Sakho has fallen out of favour at Anfield after being sent home early from Liverpool's pre-season tour of the USA for a number of disciplinary breaches. It was believed Klopp sent him home after growing tired of his behaviour, but that is not the only reason why he is on the loan list.
There have also been doubts over his professionalism after he was drawn into a doping controversy for failing a drugs test last season while the arrival of Joel Matip makes him less of a necessity.
But Liverpool's attempts to get Sakho out of the club hit a significant setback after Sunderland made it clear they would not take him for the season.
As one of the favourites for relegation, the chance to sign an international defender should have been one that David Moyes grabbed with both hands. His problems in defence could even grow deeper if Lamine Kone completes his prospective move to Everton.
But Moyes believes Sakho is too similar a player to that of Papy Djilobodji, who they signed from Chelsea in August in an £8m deal. The 27-year-old is capable of playing at centre-back or left-back and is standing in the way of Sakho moving to the Stadium of Light.
What seems clear is that Sakho will not be allowed to leave Liverpool on a permanent basis. Klopp's main priority is to make sure the former PSG star regains his match sharpness after his controversial ban for failing a drugs test.
A heel injury has further hampered his potential return into the first-team fray and now Klopp has warned him that he could face a season on the bench if he does not find a temporary home.
He is intending to use strong squads in every competition this season, including the newly branded EFL Cup, where they face Burton Albion this week.
“We will make changes but not big changes. It is not really likely we change seven or eight positions,” the German coach said.
“I cannot give all players together the opportunity to play. Sometimes we have to work longer to change the situation. Of course each week in which they can’t or didn’t play it is not too good for a player but that is how it is in football. You accept this when you start playing the game. The only thing a player can do is work as hard as possible, to perform in each session and then the manager has to make a decision.”
"You accept this when you start playing the game. The only thing a player can do is work as hard as possible, to perform in each session and then the manager has to make a decision.”
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