Football: Skrtel likely to join Fenerbahce from Liverpool on free move

Slovakia's defender Martin Skrtel arrives for a press conference in Vichy, central France, on June 23, 2016.
Slovakia's defender Martin Skrtel arrives for a press conference in Vichy, central France, on June 23, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

ISTANBUL (AFP) - Fenerbahce are set to sign the fiery Slovakian international defender Martin Skrtel on a free transfer from Liverpool, the Istanbul giants said on Friday.

Last season's Turkish runners-up said in a brief statement they were in advanced talks with Liverpool and the 31-year-old player, who made a strong showing in helping Slovakia to the last 16 at Euro 2016.

Daily Fanatik sports reported the club would offer Skrtel a three-year contract on an annual salary of €2.5 million (S$3.7 million) and would pay Liverpool a nominal sum for the transfer.

The Istanbul giant's club chairman Aziz Yildirim is hoping that the formal signing ceremony will take place as soon as Monday.

The signing of Skrtel, who has been a regular for Liverpool since 2008, would be the latest big name transfer for Fenerbahce.

Dutch full-back Gregory van der Wiel joined Fenerbahce on a four-year deal last week as well as Schalke's Russian defender Roman Neustaedter.

On the way out however is Portuguese winger Nani, who has reached an agreement to join Spain's Valencia after just one season in Istanbul.

All eyes are currently on whether Dutch striker Robin van Persie stays at the club after an up-and-down first season.

Having had to watch city rivals and Turkish champions Besiktas qualify directly for the group phase, Fenerbahce will contest the Champions League third qualifying round in late July.