For the past two years, Martin Skrtel has been Liverpool’s best defender. During an often up and down 2014-15 campaign, his consistent presence was one of the few clear positives from start to finish. It seemed unthinkable, then, when it emerged that negotiations to extend his contract had stalled and he might be departing Liverpool this summer.
That now looks a concern that can be put to rest, with word coming from Skrtel’s agent that after rejecting an earlier, "unacceptable" contract offer from the club, the 30-year-old Slovak plans to stay and will sign a new deal shortly. There is no word yet on the structure of the new deal, but given his angry reaction to Liverpool’s previous offer, the assumption will be that the club has made concessions.
"I confess that there were not mere rumours," said Skrtel’s agent Karol Csonto of a turbulent past month that saw the player’s future up in the air and a move to Italy considered. "There was real interest from Inter. The deal did not go ahead but there was contact made, and the player had been thinking about his future. Eventually, he decided he wanted to remain at Liverpool."
Skrtel has made 293 appearances for the club since joining from Zenit Saint Petersburg in January of 2008. He was the league’s leading centre half scorer in 2013-14, when he netted seven goals, and has played more than 40 games for the club in three of his seasons, including last year. Liverpool Offside readers voted him Liverpool's third-best player of 2014-15 behind Philippe Coutinho and Simon Mignolet.
He is expected to sign his new deal shortly, likely within the week.