Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel has rejected a new three-year contract with the club after they couldn’t agree on all the appearance-based clauses.
The centre-back is the latest player at Anfield who hasn’t been able to agree terms. This season has been dotted with the Reds players who have been unable to sign their new deals. Steven Gerrard’s predecessor Jordan Henderson and young star Raheem Stirling have constantly been in the papers after talks grounded to a halt at different times over the season.
The 30-year-old has added yet more worry to the Reds’ fans and it looks like manager Brendan Rodgers has a lot to do. Napoli, Wolfsburg and Inter Milan have all expressed an interest and are watching the outcome with great interest.
There are not many who will doubt that Skrtel has been one of the best players for Liverpool this season. While some are not a fan of his playing style he has been consistent and his physical and defence style has been greatly needed throughout the campaign.
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In the club’s recent top of the table clash against Liverpool, the Slovakian defender was one of the stand out players due to his aerial presence and his ability to clear the ball.
Skrtel has grown and developed as a player since he joined over ten years ago, knowing his limitations and doing the “dirty work” while the other members of the back four deal with the marking.
Some believe the Reds have got the new contract offer right due to his limited style and his age. Many believe he is now on the wrong side of 30 and, although defender’s seem to keep their skill for long- you only have to look at the season John Terry has had at Chelsea this season to see there is an argument for it – Skrtel’s last-ditch defensive style needs him to be physically fit which is only likely to decrease as he gets older.
The bosses at Anfield have every right to offer Skrtel the contract they have as they have to protect their outlay, especially if the Slovak’s ability starts to wain. Rodgers loves to bring in young talent who can learn from the veterans he already has at the club – Henderson has come on leaps and bounds under the watchful eye of the Rodgers and Gerrard.
The manager is probably planning to bring in a new fresh pair of legs to replace the 30-year-old, hence why there are a number of bonuses per games played rather than a bigger basic contract, but there is no sign of any acquisitions just yet. While Rodgers is trying to do the best for the club he cannot afford to lose his strongest players due to disagreements with contracts.
At the moment, Liverpool need Skrtel more than he needs them. They need to get him to sign on the dotted line before some other club draws his attention elsewhere.