Defender in advanced Liverpool transfer talks as final terms thrashed out
By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Martin Skrtel is on the verge of signing for Turkish side Fenerbahce after a £5million fee was agreed with Liverpool.
The advanced nature of the discussions is likely to bring to an end the Slovakian’s eight-year Anfield career.
“(Gregory) Van der Wiel and Slovak Skrtel transfers are almost done,” Fenerbahce president Aziz Yildirim told AMK Spor, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
Skrtel is set to complete the formalities of the transfer within the coming days after Slovakia were eliminated from Euro 2016 last weekend.
Skrtel was told by Jurgen Klopp at the end of the domestic season that he could leave as his first-team opportunities would be limited in 2016-17.
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The 31-year-old will leave Anfield after an eight-year career which brought 320 appearances and made him the second longest-serving player of the current squad, behind only Lucas Leiva.
Skrtel still has two years left to run on his current contract with Liverpool, but fell out of favour with Klopp in the second half of 2015-16.
The German manager is looking to put his own stamp on the squad in his first summer transfer window as Liverpool boss.
Joel Matip has signed on a free transfer from Schalke, while Dejan Lovren has established himself as the team’s leading centre-back after a difficult start to his Anfield career.
Skrtel did play a part in the tailend of Liverpool’s league campaign as Klopp rested all his best players for their run to the Europa League final but was overlooked in favour of Kolo Toure, who has been released by the club, for the marquee matches at the end of the season after Mamadou Sakho was hit with a drugs ban.
Skrtel has repeatedly drawn criticism from Liverpool fans for his performances after struggling to recover his form following a serious hamstring injury.
In other Liverpool transfer news, it has emerged that Brendan Rodgers declined the opportunity to sign Sadio Mane.