Skrtel nearing £5 million Fenerbahce move to end eight-and-a-half year Liverpool career

Martin Skrtel's eight-and-a-half year career at Liverpool looks set to end with the defender nearing a £5 million transfer to Turkish Super Lig side Fenerbahce.

Skrtel nearing £5 million Fenerbahce move to end eight-and-a-half year Liverpool career
(Picture: Getty Images)

Martin Skrtel is close to finalising a transfer which will see him swap Liverpool for Fenerbahce, with only the player's personal terms needing to be agreed.

The two clubs have been in discussions for a number of weeks and recently reached an agreement for a fee in the region of £5 million for the 31-year-old defender.

Skrtel now only needs to agree personal terms with the Turkish giants, though no hitches are expected, with a potential confirmation later this week.

Their club president, Aziz Wildirim, recently told AMK Spor that the club are "almost done" negotiating deals for Skrtel and Paris Saint-Germain right-back Gregory Van der Wiel.

The Istanbul outfit were one of a number of clubs interested in Skrtel, with the player's agent insisting that he had offers on the table from the Chinese Super League, Turkish sides Fenerbahce and Besiktas as well as Wolfsburg of the Bundesliga.

The long-serving centre-back had been delaying the decision as to his next destination until after Euro 2016. But Slovakia's comprehensive 3-0 defeat to Germany in the Round of 16 has allowed Skrtel to make up his mind.

Skrtel set to swap the Mersey for the Bosphorus

Skrtel's 2015-16 campaign was one of few highlights. (Picture: Getty Images)
Skrtel's 2015-16 campaign was one of few highlights. (Picture: Getty Images)

As such, he will bring to an end an eight-year career on Merseyside, where he made 320 appearances under four different managers. But Jürgen Klopp sees no significant first-team role for Skrtel in the future, given his alternative options in defence.

With Mamadou Sakho waiting to learn the outcome of UEFA's disciplinary hearing into his failed drugs test, the Reds boss also has Joel Matip coming in on a free transfer from Schalke to join Dejan Lovren and the returning Joe Gomez.

That leaves Skrtel surplus to requirements, even though Sakho could yet be suspended for the start of the Premier League campaign, dependent on UEFA's ruling.

Regardless, Skrtel's departure does pose the question as to whether there is a lack of experience within Klopp's squad. Only Lucas Leiva, of the current Reds, has been at Liverpool longer than the Slovakian and his future too looks uncertain - while 34-year-old Kolo Toure was recently released.

But there is no denying that Skrtel's exit has long had an air of inevitability about it. His switch follows a campaign in which injuries and dreadful form saw him fall out-of-favour beyond the festive period, making just five appearances after a dreadful performance accompanied a 3-0 away defeat at Watford in December.

He ended the campaign with less appearances than all but his first campaign with the club and his stock having significantly fallen, particularly after a substandard display in a 3-2 defeat to Southampton in March.

That afternoon, Skrtel replaced the booked Lovren at half-time with Liverpool comfortably leading 2-0 - only for a dramatic collapse, and several instances of lacklustre defending, allowing the Saints to win 3-2.

With Skrtel blamed by man for that defeat, Klopp too appears to have identified the Slovakia captain as a weakness. The German is still attempting to strike deals for Leicester City left-back Ben Chilwell and Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud as he looks to strengthen his squad.

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