According to latest reports, Newcastle United have a decent shot at signing Fenerbahce defender, Martin Skrtel, after he released a statement revealing his intentions to return to Premier League football.
The 33-year-old centre-back was linked strongly linked with Rangers FC after Steven Gerrard took over the managerial reigns at the Ibrox. The former Liverpool duo was supposed to reunite under the same Ibrox roof but eventually, the move is currently off due to a difference in contract demands.
When asked about the failed transfer approach, Skrtel’s agent revealed, “When there is only a small difference then you can find a solution, but in this case, the salary of the player in Turkey is four or five times more than what Rangers could offer.”
“That makes it impossible. Also, Fenerbahce will never let him go because he is their most important player and they need him for the Champions League qualification.”
Newcastle might just be better suited to meet the Slovakian’s wage demands but should the move be warranted by Rafael Benitez?
Skrtel enjoyed an illustrious 8 years in the English top-flight with Liverpool, from 2008 to 2016. Granted he did not win anything other than the Carabao Cup in the 2011/12 season but the 33-year-old did manage to win the hearts of plenty at the Anfield. He quit the Merseyside outfit two summers back on a £5m transfer to Fenerbahce.
In his last season at Merseyside, Skrtel completed his 300th game for the Reds and went on to make 320 appearances in total. He remains as one of the longest-serving players at the club and one of the most loved by fans.
Skrtel almost defines toughness and unflinching determination. He commanded the Liverpool backline for years, both through good times and bad. He has also been capped 97 times for Slovakia national team and has 6 international goals registered to his name. He is an uncontested starter despite being left behind for the upcoming friendlies against the Netherlands due to a knee injury.
Skrtel is not only still capable of making a comeback to Premier League football, he also might be the type of player Benitez needs at the moment.
Behind Florian Lejeune and Jamaal Lascelles, the veteran could be a much-improved backup to Ciaran Clark. Whether he will agree to the move is yet to be seen, since the Magpies cannot offer Champions League or Europa League football.
Nevertheless, there is no concern for Rangers to be worried about the move since their prospects of signing him have already fallen through. Maybe Gerrard should look into signing cheaper options.