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Fenerbahce defender Martin Skrtel 'turned down Barcelona move'

Skrtel 'turned down Barcelona move'
© Reuters
Fenerbahce defender Martin Skrtel allegedly turned down a move to Barcelona during the January transfer window.

Fenerbahce defender Martin Skrtel has allegedly rejected the chance to sign for Barcelona.

The 34-year-old - formerly of Liverpool - has spent the last two-and-a-half years in Turkey, but it has been suggested by a partner of his representatives that the Slovakia international was offered the opportunity to join Barcelona in January.

However, it has been claimed that the centre-back is happy with life at Fenerbahce and did not want to be regarded as a backup option.

Mithat Halis is quoted by AS as saying: "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."

"I think he is a better centre-half than Clement Lenglet (Barcelona's eventual defensive signing). On the other hand, Martin Skrtel is happy in Istanbul and has an important role to play in Fenerbahçe. He did not want to be third choice at Barcelona.

"[Barça reps] 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."

Skrtel has made 80 appearances for Fenerbahce since July 2016.

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