Rangers target Skrtel makes shock departure from Italy

Date published: Monday 2nd September 2019 2:56 - Matthew Briggs

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Atalanta have confirmed that summer signing Martin Skrtel has had his contract terminated.

Skrtel was signed earlier this summer on a free transfer after his contract at Besiktas ended. However, his time in Italy lasted just 22 days with the Daily Mail claiming a difference of opinion with boss Gian Piero Gasperini has led to his departure.

The report claims that Skrtel, who was linked with Rangers this summer, felt aggrieved that he had not been integrated into the first-team sooner and therefore decided to leave.

The Serie A club have now confirmed the 34-year-old former Liverpool man is no longer their player.

A statement read: ​”Atalanta BC announces that it has consensually terminated the contract with Martin Škrtel.”

The report suggests that Skrtel felt aggrieved that he had not been integrated into the first team sooner and therefore decided to curtail his stint in Italy after just 22 days.

The centre-back was on the bench for the win over SPAL, but did not make the squad for yesterday’s defeat to Torino.

Skrtel apparently rejected the chance to play for Barcelona in the summer of 2018, according to his agent.

Mithat Halis said: “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.”

Skrtel joined Turkish outfit Fenerbahce from Liverpool for £5million in 2016, having made 320 appearances for the Reds during his nine years at Anfield.

The Daily Record claimed Skrtel held talks with Steven Gerrard at Ibrox before signing for Atalanta.

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