Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel is on the verge of a move to Turkish club Fenerbahce for £5.5 million.
All the usual press gang reported the news on Wednesday evening.
Skrtel signed a new three-year deal at Anfield last summer, but things didn’t pan out as he would have hoped in 2015/16.
He failed to convince and eventually fell behind Mamadou Sakho, Dejan Lovren and Kolo Toure in the defensive pecking order after Jurgen Klopp‘s arrival, with the performance at Watford before Christmas proving a turning point.
He has started just four games in 2016, with the majority of those only coming because key centre-backs were being rested for more important matches.
It has become increasingly clear that manager Klopp sees no Liverpool future for Skrtel, so a move elsewhere will be beneficial to player and club.
He is Liverpool’s second-longest serving player, behind Lucas Leiva, having joined for £6.5 million from Zenit St Petersburg, in January 2008.
Despite a shaky start, in which he scored an own goal against Havant and Waterlooville in the FA Cup, he grew into life on Merseyside, and became a solid squad member under Rafa Benitez.
His Reds career peaked during the 2011/12 season, when he scored in the League Cup final win over Cardiff City and was named Liverpool’s Player of the Year.
Since then he’s divided opinion among fans, with some seeing him as the only constant in a constantly problematic defence.
Skrtel is currently captaining Slovakia at the Euros and had a good display against Russia on Wednesday, no doubt helping boost his value.
One report suggests the move could be finalised in the next few days, which seems unlikely given his European Championship commitments.
Liverpool will be happy to get £5.5 million for a player past his prime and no longer needed by the manager.
The Reds are having a defensive overhaul this summer, with Joel Matip arriving from Schalke and – according to Chris Bascombe of the Telegraph – still expecting to sign another centre-back this summer.