Monday’s News: Slovak Skrtel set to sign

Liverpool are set to break their record transfer fee for a defender in the next 48 hours, according to the Liverpool Echo. They report that Zenit St Petersburg centre back Martin Skrtel arrived on Merseyside on Sunday after the two clubs agreed a £6.5m fee.

23 year old Skrtel is highly rated across Europe and has a reputation as a no-nonsense defender who does not shy away from the physical side of the game.

The Slovakian international stands at 6’4″ and is no doubt a long term replacement for Sami Hyypia and could form a formiddable parnership alongside Daniel Agger in the long term future.

And Rick Parry has not only negotiated the deal for Skrtel ahead of his trip to visit Gillett and Hicks, he has denied that Benitez’s future is on the agenda when they meet; “The appointment is a diary engagement to discuss the new stadium plans, it has been in the diary for a long time to discuss the stadium” he told the Echo.

Elsewhere on Monday, Liverpool or Luton were drawn with Swansea or Havant and Waterlooville in the next round of the FA Cup. The Reds host Luton next Tuesday in the replay. [Full Story]

Havants secretary was delighted with the draw; “We are over the moon with the draw. We have a lot of people here who are Liverpool supporters. What an incentive for us to try and get past Swansea.”

Meanwhile Jamie Carragher admits the Reds didnt perform at Luton:

“We didn’t perform but, at the end of the day, cup competitions are all about results and we are still in the draw for the next round. We would have liked a better result because we are the favourites to go through.”

“There have been a few shocks and I suppose our result will go down as a bit of a shock because people expected us to win.

“I thought Luton were excellent and you have to give them great credit. They played very well the last time we were down here and they raised their performance again this time.

“They deserve all the plaudits they will get from this, but hopefully now we can finish the job at home even though we realise it will be a tough game.”