Martin Skrtel has hit out at Liverpool’s attempt to tie him down to a new Anfield deal, claiming that the proposal placed on the table was ‘unacceptable’.
The experienced defender is one of Brendan Rodgers’ most senior squad members and a distinguished centre-half in the Premier League, but as confirmed in quotes relayed by Goal, the Slovenian was left less than happy by what the Reds decided to offer him in terms of a new deal.
Interest in him from other clubs has reportedly been widespread, with the likes of Serie A’s Napoli and German outfit VfL Wolfsburg having registered themselves as potential suitors.
With that in mind it appears that Liverpool are trying to retain his services, though they’ll have to try harder than what they’ve done to date.
“It's unacceptable for me. I think that such contracts are offered to players who are much older than me or players who have had some health problems.
“The contract, which was presented to me, makes me uneasy, so I did not sign it.
“There has been some speculation about the interest of other clubs for my person, but they are currently being addressed.”
Skrtel initially struggled under Rodgers before reinstating himself as a regular first-choice this season, helped in part by the poor form of last summer’s acquisition, Dejan Lovren. Since then he’s looked very much a reliable option in the heart of Liverpool’s back four, and his longing for more impressive contract terms might be backed by the fans.
That said at 30 it remains to be seen how many more years he can promise at the top, and one gets the sense the current situation could be a crossroads in his career.
If Liverpool decide he is the man they want moving forward than they can up their offer and get a deal done, whereas if they’re of the opinion someone more suited to be found they could quite easily sell him and be done with it.
If they go with the latter route they’ll likely have to engage in the summer transfer window concerning getting another centre-back. As has already been touched upon Lovren hasn’t hit the ground running in Merseyside, and it would hardly inspire new confidence for the season ahead were he to be a first-choice in what could be a definitive campaign for Rodgers.
Given that the club have already practically offered the earth in a bid to keep Sterling, Skrtel might well have grounds to be annoyed. In that respect the club might have set a dangerous precedent of expectation when it comes to contract talks, and of course Sterling could well leave anyway.
Liverpool fans, do you think Skrtel deserves a lucrative new deal? Let us know what you think the club should do in the comments box below.