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Skrtel 'bugged' by Liverpool snub

ESPN staff
May 28, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Martin Skrtel is not happy to be missing out on first-team football at Anfield © PA Photos
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Martin Skrtel has revealed he is seriously considering leaving Liverpool in the summer - and admits it had "bugged" him to lose his place in the side to Jamie Carragher.

Skrtel made just four Premier League starts for his club in 2013, having fallen behind Carragher in the first-team pecking order.

Manager Brendan Rodgers insisted in March that he had no intention of selling Skrtel this summer, wanting the 28-year-old to remain as one of his central defensive options, and the Slovakia international has indicated that he would be happy to stay if he could regain a regular spot.

But even with Carragher retiring after Liverpool completed their Premier League programme last weekend, Skrtel faces a battle for a place next season.

Rodgers is expected to sign Manchester City defender Kolo Toure on a free transfer, and is understood to be preparing a £12 million bid for Schalke's Greece international centre-back Kyriakos Papadopoulos. The Liverpool manager is also tracking Sporting Lisbon's Portugal Under-20 international central defender Tiago Ilori.

That has left Skrtel, signed from Zenit St Petersburg by Rafael Benitez for £6.5m in January 2008, pondering his Anfield future.

He told the Slovakian newspaper Dennik Sport: "I have not had any specific offers but, if some should come and they interest me, I would probably ponder it seriously."

But Skrtel, whose Liverpool contract runs until 2016, acknowledged that the final say on his future rests with the club.

He added: "The club has the biggest say in this in any case, because they have the right for it with me being contracted. Besides, I am not saying that I want to leave at any cost. I feel sorry for what happened in this season. But I have been here for five-and-a-half years and I have built a position here."

Skrtel had been a regular in the side throughout the campaign, but after the shock FA Cup exit at the hands of Oldham in January, the Slovakian has been out-of-favour after Rodgers cited a lack of leadership at the back.

"After the game, the coach decided he wanted to change the team and justified to me that we lacked the organisation and defensive leadership personality," Skrtel said.

"That was Carragher. Obviously I was not happy, it bugged me. On the other hand, I realise that only 11 can play and the 11 the coach chooses now is without me.

"I decided to add even more in training, so I was ready for a chance to show that I belong on the field, and not on the bench."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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