Reports: Liverpool set to let go of Martin Skrtel and Mario Balotelli with Turkish clubs interested
Liverpool are set to let go of striker Mario Balotelli and defender Martin Skrtel with both players set to move to the Turkish Super Lig. Skrtel is currently on international duty with Slovakia at Euro 2016 and Fenerbahce are reportedly interested in acquiring his services.
On the other hand, Balotelli could move to Besiktas if his agent Mino Raiola gets his way. The 25-year-old Italian striker failed to make Antonio Conte’s squad for the quadrennial tournament after a poor season on loan at AC Milan.
“I offered Mario to Besiktas and I'm waiting for their answer,” Raiola told Turkish outlet Spox
“But I'm quite sure the transfer will happen as the president already assured me in the past that he would do everything he can to sign him.”
Balotelli was an integral member of Italy’s Euro 2012 squad that reached the final before they lost 4-0 to Spain. He was also the joint top scorer of the tournament with three goals which included a brace against Germany in the semi-final.
But since then, his stock has fallen as he moved away from Manchester City to AC Milan in the January transfer window. While he had a promising start in Serie A with 12 goals in his first 13 games at the club, the second season saw his numbers dip.
A disastrous £16m move to Liverpool for the 2014/15 season saw him score only one goal in the league the entire season and four goals in all competitions. Another spell at Milan followed, this time on loan and his performances were not good enough to warrant a stay.
“He has an immense desire to stay here at the club, “CEO Adriano Galliani had said in April. “I hope he shows that with his performances.
“I told him that based on what he has shown until now, he doesn't deserve to stay.”
Fenerbahce want Skrtel
Skrtel, who had signed a three-year deal last summer when Brendan Rodgers was still in charge, is no longer in Jurgen Klopp’s plans. The 31-year-old defender has fallen out of favour with the German boss with inconsistent performances.
The Slovakian defender played only 22 times for the Reds in the Premier League this season and was below Mamadou Sakho, Dejan Lovren and even Kolo Toure (who was also released by the club) in the pecking order. Since the turn of the year, he has only started four times.
Skrtel has been at the Anfield club since January 2008 and a move to Turkey would see his eight-year stint with the club end after making more than 300 appearances.