Mamadou Sakho Linked With Move to Real Betis Upon Expiry of Crystal Palace Contract

Tom McArdle
Dec 3, 2020, 4:35 PM GMT
Sakho has struggled with injuries
Sakho has struggled with injuries | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images
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Real Betis will attempt to lure Mamadou Sakho away from Selhurst Park when his contract with Crystal Palace expires at the end of the season, according to a report in Spain.

Betis, managed by former Manchester City and West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini, have got off to a slow start in La Liga, and currently sit 15th in the table after shipping a league high 23 goals in their opening 11 games.

Palace, meanwhile, have been up and down in the Premier League, and have been without Sakho for the most part as he continues to struggle with injuries that have dogged him for the past 18 months.

Manuel Pellegrini will be looking for a quick fix to his defensive issues
Manuel Pellegrini will be looking for a quick fix to his defensive issues | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

The Frenchman joined the Eagles from Liverpool for £26m four years ago, penning a four-year deal upon his arrival. But with his contract up in the summer, Betis (via Estadio Deportivo) are understood to be interested in securing his services as they target players who are out of contract.

Pellegrini has already admitted that financial constraints brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has tied his hands when it comes to buying players, leaving Sakho a more than appealing option. Arsenal's Shkodran Mustafi and Napoli's Nikola Maksimovic are also noted as potential targets, though they don't possess the same positional flexibility that the 30-year-old offers..

One downside to moving for Sakho is his poor injury record of late. He's spent a number of weeks and months on Palace's treatment table, forcing Roy Hodgson to deploy Cheikhou Kouyaté out of position to fill the void. The Senegalese international has impressed in his new role, however, and has retained his place in the team even though Sakho is now fit and available again.

Despite Sakho's return from injury, Roy Hodgson has opted to keep Kouyate at centre-half
Despite Sakho's return from injury, Roy Hodgson has opted to keep Kouyate at centre-half | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Previously, Hodgson had hailed Sakho's return from injury in September's Carabao Cup clash with Bournemouth as 'incredible', but since then he has barely featured.

Palace could offer Sakho extended terms, but given that's he on a hefty wage and moving him on for a substantial transfer fee is unlikely in the future, the club may opt to cut their losses and allow him to move on if Betis' interest comes to fruition.

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