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Barcelona failed with January swoop as defensive stalwart snubbed move

Barcelona reportedly tried to sign Fenerbahce defender Martin Skrtel in January, but saw their interest snubbed by the Slovakian international.

The 34-year-old has gained plenty of experience at the highest level following spells with Liverpool and Zenit, along with having 103 international caps to his name.

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With the Catalan giants continuing to have concerns at the back, having conceded 23 goals in 23 La Liga games so far this season, signing a short-term solution was seemingly an option in the January transfer window.

However, as reported by AS, Skrtel’s representatives have not only confirmed interest from Barca, but also that he rejected the opportunity to move to the Nou Camp with a likely back-up role not appealing to him.

“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,” Mithat Halis said.

“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.”

If the interest from Barcelona was genuine and Skrtel did indeed turn them down for the reason cited, the veteran surely deserves a great deal of respect for prioritising regular football over the chance to join the European giants at this stage of his career.

Some will undoubtedly question it as many players don’t get the opportunity to make such a significant move in their careers, but evidently Skrtel is happy in Turkey and the idea of offering depth at Barcelona wasn’t a convincing argument to make him consider an exit.

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