Transfer news LIVE: Former Liverpool star Martin Skrtel REJECTED Barca offer



Posted Tuesday, February 12, 2019 by Express.co.uk

Transfer news LIVE: Former Liverpool star Martin Skrtel REJECTED Barca offer
Barcelona transfer news: Martin Skrtel rejected a move to Barca (Image: GETTY)

Barcelona made a bid for Fenerbahce defender Martin Skrtel, but the player preferred a stay in Turkey.

Skrtel played for Liverpool from 2008 until 2016, scoring 18 goals across 320 appearances.

The 34-year-old joined Fenerbahce for a reported £5million after failing out of favour an Anfield.

Mithat Halis, part of a firm that represents Skrtel, revealed that a bid came in for the Slovakian centre-back in the summer.

He said: "Barcelona wanted to sign him and were insisting on him because they needed a central defender that was a reliable alternative, but the player didn't agree because he did not want to be a substitute for Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti."

Barcelona are currently top of La Liga, but wanted defensive reinforcement before the season began as they targeted an unlikely treble.

Halis went on claim that Skrtel would've been good enough to be in Barcelona's squad, but not in the starting 11.

Transfer news LIVE: Former Liverpool star Martin Skrtel REJECTED Barca offer
Barcelona transfer news: Skrtel played for Liverpool over 300 times (Image: GETTY)

"I think he is a better centre-half than Clement Lenglet. On the other hand, Martin Skrtel is happy in Istanbul and has an important role to play in Fenerbahce," he said.

"He did not want to be third choice at Barcelona.

"They [Barca] saw the player in the game between Slovakia and the Ukraine and appreciated again that Skrtel is the leader of his team, but Skrtel told us he wants to continue playing in Turkey."

Arsenal have called Aaron Ramsey a "consummate professional" after it was announced he would be joining Juventus in the summer.

After 11 years and over 350 appearances in all competitions, Ramsey will join Juventus from July 1 on a four-year-deal as free agent.

He will earn around £400,000 per week, which will make him the highest-paid British player of all time.

And in a statement on the club's website, Arsenal hailed his contribution to the club.

Arsenal said: "Everyone at Arsenal Football Club wishes Aaron Ramsey a happy and successful future.

"Aaron's made a fantastic contribution to our club since joining from Cardiff City in 2008.

"He has always been a consummate professional and will always have a special place in the hearts and memories of Arsenal fans around the world.

"We look forward to Aaron helping the team to a strong end to this season before he joins Juventus in the summer."

In a statement posted on his social media accounts, Ramsey thanked Arsenal fans and vowed to give 100 per cent for the club until he leaves in the summer.

Transfer news LIVE: Former Liverpool star Martin Skrtel REJECTED Barca offer
Aaron Ramsey is on his way to Juventus (Image: GETTY)

Ramsey wrote: "As you may have already heard, I have agreed a pre-contract with Juventus Football Club.

"I wanted to issue a personal statement for all the Arsenal fans who have been extremely loyal and supportive.

"You welcomed me as a teenager and have been there for me through all the highs and lows I've encountered during my time at the club.

"It is with a heavy heart that I leave after 11 incredible years in North London. Thank you.

"I will continue to give the team 100 per cent and hope to finish the season strongly, before heading on to my next chapter in Turin. Kind regards, Aaron."

Transfer news LIVE: Former Liverpool star Martin Skrtel REJECTED Barca offer
Aaron Ramsey will link up with Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus (Image: GETTY)

Former Wales international, Iwan Roberts, accused Arsenal fans of not appreciating Ramsey enough.

"They haven't appreciated him from the first day he walked through the door," he said.

"We [in Wales] would rather see him go to Juventus. He could do with a fresh start."

While Ramsey's former Wales team-mate Danny Gabbidon has backed the midfielder to add extra quality to Juventus.

"If you look at Juventus and the make-up of their midfield, he will bring something that they don't have," says Gabbidon.

"They have Emre Can, Sami Khedira, Miralem Pjanic, Blaise Matuidi - none of those are players who get in the box and have that goalscoring threat, so I'm sure that's why Juve have identified him.

"Juve are dominant so if he goes there he's going to be winning league titles, but Serie A is becoming more competitive with Napoli and Inter Milan competing again."

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