After missing out on Gabriel Heinze in the summer transfer window in dubious circumstances Rafael Benitez is at last getting closer to signing a new centre-back. The player in question is Slovakian international Martin Skrtel who currently plays in Russia for Zenit St Petersburg.
He arrived on Merseyside last night ahead of a medical this afternoon, after Rick Parry spent time in Russia over the weekend to negotiate the deal. Sources differ on what the agreed fee is to be, either £4m or £6.5m.
Assuming no snags are hit the deal is expected to be completed by Wednesday, by which time Rick Parry will be in the US.
If the fee does turn out to be £6.5m it would be a Liverpool record fee for a defender, despite being a lower fee than had been bid for Heinze. Certainly an announcement of a £6.5m fee would help Hicks and Gillett in their PR battles, and seems to be the figure that Rick Parry has been quoting off-the-record this afternoon. However given the way the club allowed the true Fernando Torres fee to be exaggerated in the summer then there would be little surprise if the other sources were correct in their belief that the fee was just £4m. Continue reading Reds set to sign Skrtel