Liverpool look set to fend off European interest in centre-back Martin Skrtel by offering the 30-year-old a new three-year contract.
Martin Skrtel, who sees his current contract enter its final year next season, has been offered a new three-year contract, reports claim.
Prompted by rumoured interest from Bundesliga challengers VfL Wolfsburg and Europa League favourites Napoli, Liverpool have moved to tie down one of the most consistent players from their 2014/15 season.
“Club officials realise how crucial it is that the 30-year-old remains at the club, so are moving quickly to put their new terms in front of him.
“Skrtel joined Liverpool in 2008 from Russian side Zenit St Petersburg and has become an important figure within the dressing room.
“His influence will become even more vital next term once MLS-bound skipper Steven Gerrard has left the club – and he has made it clear that he is keen to prolong his stay at Anfield.”
Skrtel has been one of the most prominent figures in Brendan Rodgers’ side this season, clocking 2,700 minutes in the Premier League so far, behind only Jordan Henderson (2,986), Simon Mignolet (2,954) and Raheem Sterling (2,873).
He has won the joint-most aerial duels (3.6), made the most clearances (9.8) and the most blocks (1.1) per league game of any Reds player this term, with his no-nonsense, physical style adding a much-needed bite to the Reds’ back line.
With an average passing accuracy of 90.3 percent, Skrtel also represents Liverpool’s most composed player in possession, keeping things simple and safe.
The Slovak has already ruled out a move to Wolfsburg or Napoli this month, declaring: “I am not leaving anywhere. Not to Wolfsburg nor to Naples.”
Skrtel will be Liverpool’s longest-serving player when Gerrard leaves for Los Angeles, and the 30-year-old has a good chance of taking up the captain or vice-captain’s role from next season – as Jordan Henderson‘s deputy, or as out-and-out first-choice leader.
Statistics via WhoScored.
Should Martin Skrtel be offered an official leadership role at Liverpool next season? Let us know in the comments below.