London - Liverpool have opened talks with Mamadou Sakho over a new contract, signalling their intention to keep the France defender on Merseyside despite manager Brendan Rodgers leaving him out of the squad for the first two games of the season.
The club have reportedly rejected interest in the 25-year-old centre back from both Roma and Bayer Leverkusen over the past week, even though Rodgers has opted for Dejan Lovren and Martin Skrtel as his first choice defensive pairing.
Sakho's current deal runs until 2017 and he will be offered a new five-year contract on improved terms, according to British media reports.
Liverpool bought Sakho from French champions Paris Saint-Germain for a reported £18 million in 2013.
The club travel to the Emirates Stadium on Monday to take on Arsenal in the Premier League, but the manager's hopes of maintaining his winning start to the season have been dealt a blow by the news that captain Jordan Henderson is unlikely to feature due to a foot injury.
The England international was forced off early in the second half during Liverpool's 1-0 win over Bournemouth on Monday and has not trained this week, according to a report in the Liverpool Echo.
The injury to Henderson means midfielder Emre Can, who replaced the 25-year-old against Bournemouth, could start his first game for the club this season.