On the back of Martin Skrtel rejecting Liverpool’s latest contract offer, the Slovakian hasn’t exactly been mixing words in the media. Branding the terms “unacceptable”, the 30-year old quickly backpeddled on his previous assertions that he wasn’t leaving Anfield.
It seems that every summer the Reds defender is linked with a move away from the Merseyside. Italian side Napoli, where now Real Madrid boss and former Liverpool supremo Rafa Benitez was plying his trade, was often his rumoured destination, but when German club Wolfsburg were starting to come in to the frame as potential suitors around the end of April, Skrtel cleared things up with the Liverpool ECHO. “I am not leaving anywhere,” the paper quoted him saying. “Not to Wolfsburg nor to Naples.” This, of course, was before he sat down at the bargaining table.
At that time, his agent Karol Csonto said that Liverpool’s offer was the only one on the table and they were close to reaching an agreement, but it sounds like things have changed. With the offer rumoured to contain a pay as you play clause, the Slovakian hard-man pulled the plug on talks and has now apparently gone from being fully committed to the cause to considering a move elsewhere.
“The contract, which was presented to me, makes me uneasy, so I did not sign it,” confirmed the Reds defender. “There has been some speculation about the interest of other clubs for my person, but they are currently being addressed,” he continued, with the latest bit of gossip seeing him used as a make-weight in a deal that would bring Inter Milan playmaker Mateo Kovacic to Merseyside. He might be shopping around for a new club, but he made sure everyone knew there was at least one place he wasn’t considering as an option. “I can imagine a transfer to anywhere, but United?” he asked before delivering the expectedly blunt answer. “Never.”