Liverpool's Mamadou Sakho turns down Stoke City loan - source

Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho has turned the chance join Stoke City on loan, a source has told ESPN FC.

Sakho has been told that he is free to leave Anfield on a temporary basis in order to get his career back on track after a difficult spell.

Liverpool accepted Stoke's offer to take the France international on a season-long loan but that deal looks increasingly unlikely to be completed due to Sakho's reluctance to join Mark Hughes' side.

The source said the Reds strongly feel that the former Paris Saint-Germain captain needs regular game time to save his Liverpool and international career.

Sakho is currently nursing an Achilles injury but faces stiff competition for a starting spot when he returns after Jurgen Klopp strengthened the centre-back position at Anfield over the summer with the acquisitions of Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan from the Bundesliga.

It has been testing time for the 26-year-old in recent months. UEFA announced that Sakho had failed a doping test in April -- although he was later cleared of wrongdoing -- and missed the Europa League final and Euro 2016 in his homeland.

He also was sent home from Liverpool's preseason tour of the United States earlier this summer for disciplinary issues.

When Klopp was quizzed about his desire to send Sakho depart the club on loan last week, he told reporters that all the necessary parties were aware of the situation.

"I'm happy that I don't talk about things like this," Klopp said. "Everybody who needs to be informed by this will be informed by this -- and is informed by this. There are no secrets with the important people, I would say."