With Liverpool having previously accepted a £5.5M bid for defender Martin Skrtel from Fenerbahce, it seemed only a question of when the 31-year-old Slovak centre half would be moving on. His agent made some noise about waiting for all the offers to come in, but with the days counting down until Skrtel would have to report for pre-season training with Liverpool, there wasn’t much time.
Now, it looks like there also isn’t any question as to where Skrtel ends up, as he has reportedly flown to Turkey today to finish negotiations, undergo a medical, and complete his move to Fenerbahce. It’s a move that will see Skrtel again playing in the Champions League this coming season, which is believed to have played a key role in getting him to accept the move to Turkey to see out the final few years of his career.
There had also reportedly been interest from Wolfsburg, Roma, and a Chinese Super League club. He will depart Liverpool having played 319 games for the English club over eight and a half seasons after Rafa Benitez paid £6.5M to bring him in from Zenit St. Petersburg in January of 2008. Though he stumbled in his final year at the club, he leaves one of its longest-serving players of the Premier League era.
That final year, though, was difficult. Injuries, poor form, and Dejan Lovren finding his way under Jürgen Klopp after his own struggles the previous season under Brendan Rodgers added up to a disastrous 2015-16 for Skrtel. When it came to an end, and with Joel Matip arriving on a free transfer, there was little question as to what would come next. In short, it felt as though his departure was a certainty.
That departure is expected to now arrive within the week. Skrtel is expected to step into the position previously held by Bruno Alves at Fenerbahce, with the 34-year-old Portuguese defender having moved on to newly promoted Serie A side Cagliari this summer.