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Martin Skrtel turned down January move to Barcelona

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He didn’t fancy sitting on the bench apparently

Benfica v Fenerbache - UEFA Champions League Qualifier Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

Barcelona were keen to bring in Martin Skrtel in the January transfer window but were turned down by the centre-back as he didn’t want to play a back-up role.

The Spanish champions strengthened defensively in the winter by bringing in Jeison Murillo on loan from Valencia and also signed youngster Jean-Clair Todibo.

Mithat Halis, who works for the company that represents Škrtel, says Barcelona were seriously interested in the former Liverpool man.

“Barcelona wanted to sign him [Škrtel] 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 Pique and Umtiti.

“I think he is a better centre-half than Clément Lenglet. On the other hand, Martin Škrtel is happy in Istanbul and has an important role to play in Fenerbahçe. He did not want to be third choice at Barcelona.”

Source | AS

Barcelona were linked with loads of defenders during the winter as injuries to Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen left them short in defence.

Murillo has played two games in the Copa del Rey so far, while Todibo was originally expected to arrive in the summer but the club brought the move forward due to his dispute with Toulouse.