Liverpool certainly isn’t satisfied with their mediocre eighth-place finish in the EPL, but ensuring their star player sticks around is essential as they build for the future.
Defender Martin Skrtel is still under contract for the next two years, but he isn’t exactly thrilled about playing out his deal. According to Dailymail.co.uk, the 27-year-old is beginning to ponder if a change of scenery might be the best decision he could make.
Losing Skrtel would be a devastating blow to Liverpool, and it looks like his agent Karol Csonto knows as much. When he spoke with The Independent, he sounded like a man prepared to use Liverpool’s poor season as a tool to negotiate a bigger deal:
There are expectations on both sides, though. Some changes have been made at the club and the player wants to know what the aims and ambitions are.
We want to discuss with Liverpool what they want and, of course, we will discuss the issue of Martin's new contract.
Skrtel has all of the leverage here, and the Reds should pay up. Despite winning the Carling Cup, they are on the outside looking in for the Champions League, and there are certainly better teams that would love to acquire his services.
Liverpool had the third-best defensive record in the Premier League, and there is no doubt Skrtel was the difference-maker.
If he were to skip town, Jamie Carragher would be forced to step in unless a purchase was made. At the age of 34, there is no way he could consistently defend the best strikers in the Premier League on even a semi-regular basis.
The price tag isn’t going to be cheap, and the money Liverpool planned to throw at other transfers will be soaked up to a certain extent, but the most important decision the Reds have to make is ensuring their star is happy.
Giving him a lucrative new deal is the only way that happens.