Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez is closing in on a deal to bring defender Martin Skrtel to Italy.
According to reports in the Daily Mirror Benitez’s new club Napoli are set to complete a second raid on Anfield raid with the Slovakian International due to join the club on a season-long loan.
However unlike the deal which took Pepe Reina to Naples, any deal will be dependent on a clause which will make the deal permanent at the end of the season, should Skrtel remain fit.
The developments come days after the 28-year-old, who lost his place in the side during the season half of the season, vowed to stay and fight for his place. “Every day is a competition,” said Skrtel. “You need to work hard and show your best every day in training.
“Since I came to Liverpool there have always been three, four or even five players that play centre-back.
“It isn’t easy, but I try to do my best and I try to show my manager that I’m able to play.”
A move to Serie A would reunite Skrtel with the man who brought him to Anfield, Benitez and much like the situation with Reina, the central defender who suffered a slump in form last season, will hope that the Spanish tactician can re-ignite his career.
Skrtel has struggled to come to grips with the style of football Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is trying to implement and after a promising start to the season last year, a number of high profile errors saw him eventually lose his place in the side to Jaime Carragher.
With Carragher retiring at the end of last season there was hope that Skrtel could claim back his first team spot however the arrival of Kolo Toure looks set to keep him as third choice.
It now seems however that the club will cash in and free up his salary in a bid to land another defender with recent reports from Greece and Germany claiming that the Reds have re-entered the chase for Schalke’s rising star Kyriakos Papadopoulos with a deal believed to be close.
Liverpool are also believed to be closing on a loan deal of their own with reports from Portugal claiming that Benfica’s converted left-back Lorenzo Melgarejo is set to join the club on loan with a view to a €10 million permanent move next summer.