Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Skrtel: Liverpool Exit Never An Option

Martin Srktel has insisted that he never gave the possibility of leaving Liverpool serious thought during the summer, with his focus firmly on fighting for a first-team place at Anfield and helping the Reds fight for Champions League qualification.

Srktel was consistently linked with clubs across Europe for much of the close season, including a reunion with former Reds boss Rafael Benitez at Serie A giants Napoli.

The Slovakian defender started for the first time in Sunday's 1-0 win over Manchester United, filling in for Kolo Toure to help Brendan Rodgers' side maintain their 100 per cent start to the Premier League.

With French international Mamadou Sakho and Tiago Ilori both joining to strengthen Liverpool's defensive options, Srktel believes that the Reds are well placed to challenge for a top-four finish this season.

He told SITA: "I'm staying at Liverpool. The rumours were never as strong as it was made out. There has been no contact with other clubs because the Liverpool management told me that they were counting on me. That is why a transfer was never in my plans.

"I have never considered it [the United game] to be a chance to show that I deserve to stay at Liverpool. Players come, players leave, it's a normal thing and we will see how it develops. It was a big derby but, on the other hand, it was also just another league game.

"You may say that the number of clubs competing is increasing from one year to the next. Again we have seen clubs spending big sums of money - City, Tottenham, Chelsea and even Arsenal. Competition is big but when I look at how we have played, I would say that we belong in the top four."

Since signing for Liverpool in 2008 Skrtel has played more than 200 times for the Merseysiders, with the 28-year-old scoring nine goals in all competitions during that spell.

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