Rodgers further bolstered his defensive options by signing Sporting Lisbon’s centre-back Tiago Ilori for £7m
Brendan Rodgers hailed a “massive coup” after Liverpool FC prised Mamadou Sakho away from Paris Saint-Germain to become their major summer signing.
The arrival of centre-back Sakho from Paris Saint-Germain for a fee in the region of £18million formed the centrepiece of a busy day ahead of the transfer deadline closing last night.
Rodgers further bolstered his defensive options by signing Sporting Lisbon’s centre-back Tiago Ilori for £7m having tracked the 20-year-old for most of the summer.
And the Liverpool manager also completed a season-long loan deal for out-of-favour Chelsea winger Victor Moses.
On their way out of Anfield were Fabio Borini, who will spend the remainder of the campaign at Sunderland, and Dani Pacheco on a permanent transfer to second tier Spanish side Alcorcon.
Sakho, a 23-year-old France international who can also play left-back, has made 14 appearances for his country and, with PSG, won the French title, French Cup and French League Cup and was named the country’s young player of the year in 2011.
And asked if it was a coup to sign Sakho, Rodgers said: “I think it's a massive one. He is a player they were not wanting to lose, but he'd made it known he wasn't going to sign another contract and it's something that our people here at the club were very much on top of.
“It's great thanks to them, their hard work and perseverance that we were able to attract someone with that calibre.
“At his age, the potential he has and his attributes - he's really powerful, quick and offers us balance as well as he can play left-side centre-half or at left-back - means there is real hot competition, not just in games but every day in training, and that will see us improve.”
Sakho joins Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, Kolo Toure and Martin Kelly in competing for a place in the heart of Liverpool’s defence.
But he said: “Competition doesn’t give me any worries. Competition makes the team grow and makes the club grow because that’s the objective and the goal of everyone here.
“In a large club, having competition is something you expect. To get the best out of any player, you need to have competition.”
Sakho added: “My aim while I am here is to play in the Champions League with Liverpool. I remember their teams when they were in the competition when I was younger.
“With the team we have, and the means put at the disposal of the players, the technical support and the whole club and its supporters are in a good position to get there. This is our objective.
“With regards to the history of Liverpool, the thing that struck me most was the victory in the Champions League final when I was very young.
“I know the Liverpool fans are fantastic and while I was in France, it was clear for me to see they are among the best in England.”
“I hope to create a new piece of history with our supporters at Anfield.”
Ilori, who was born in London and is set to be contacted by the Football Association regarding his eligibility for England, made his debut for Sporting in 2011 and was coveted by several clubs having become a regular for the Portuguese side last season.
He played at Anfield against Liverpool in the 2011-12 NextGen Series, and said: “I know the history of the club and the Premier League is the best league in the world, in my opinion.
“Liverpool have a great team and I think it’s the place for me to be at the moment.
“I know there have been some great teams here in the past and the club has won a lot of trophies and I want to be a part of it.”
Moses, meanwhile, will spend the rest of the campaign on loan at Anfield with Rodgers having identifed the 22-year-old as helping bolster his team’s attacking threat.
The Nigeria international only moved to Chelsea last summer from Wigan Athletic and helped the Londoners win the Europa League in May.
But he fell down the pecking order under new Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, prompting Rodgers to make his move.
“I’m delighted to have made the loan from Chelsea to a big club like Liverpool,” said Moses.
“The target is to get into the top four and for the club to compete in the Champions League. The manager has done very well and the formation and players here will help me and I just want to gel in, get to know the players and play with them.
“There are a lot of quality players here – they’re winning games and creating chances. It’s a massive thing for me to be here.”
Rodgers was also keen on signing Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given but the clubs were unable to agree a loan deal.