Barcelona wanted to sign Martin Skrtel from Fenerbahce in January but the former Liverpool defender refused the move because he did not want to sit on the bench at the Nou Camp.
That is the claim of Mithat Halis, one of the agents among Skrtel’s representatives, who says Barca made their move last month.
The La Liga club were known to be in the market for defensive reinforcements but Skrtel, who will become a free agent in the summer, chose to remain in Turkey rather than move to Spain to act as back-up for Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti.
Halis told AS: “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 Pique and Umtiti.
“I think he is a better centre-half than Clement Lenglet. On the other hand, Skrtel is happy in Istanbul and has an important role to play in Fenerbahce.
“He did not want to be third choice at Barcelona.
“Barca saw the player in the game between Slovakia and the Ukraine and appreciated again that Skrtel is the leader of his team, but Skrtel told us he wants to continue playing in Turkey.”
Skrtel is also said to have turned down a reunion with Steven Gerrard at Rangers.
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