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Martin Skrtel on brink of Liverpool exit after passing Fenerbahce medical

Published 13/07/2016

Mamadou Sakho has not played since April
Mamadou Sakho has not played since April

Martin Skrtel inched closer to leaving Liverpool for Fenerbahce on Wednesday after passing his medical ahead of a switch to the Turkish club.

The Slovakia captain, 31, arrived in Istanbul on Tuesday evening to finalise a transfer that will see him depart Anfield after eight years on Merseyside for a fee understood to be £5million.

Fener posted images of Skrtel and fellow prospective new signing Ismail Koybasi being put through numerous medical tests on their official website on Wednesday and, with that hurdle now cleared for both men, all that is left is to conclude personal terms with the pair.

Although he made over 300 appearances for Liverpool, Skrtel fell down the pecking order under Jurgen Klopp following a lengthy absence due to a hamstring injury and he is seen as surplus to requirements now Joel Matip has been recruited and Joe Gomez is fit again.

However, Klopp is still short of central-defensive options after revealing Mamadou Sakho may miss the start of the new season because of an Achilles injury.

Only last week Sakho, 26, learned that proceedings opened against him following a failed drugs test in March had been dropped by UEFA, meaning he is now free to play having served an interim 30-day ban which saw him miss the Europa League final and cost him a place in France's Euro 2016 squad.

Yet Klopp has confirmed his central defender is now due to be sidelined for another month because of an injury which had been troubling him towards the tail end of the previous campaign.

"Mama had a little issue with his Achilles when he was playing, one day on, one off, this kind of thing," Klopp said in quotes published in several national newspapers.

"When he had his little 'break' he used the time to have a little bit of treatment and that now means another three or four weeks before he can train again.

"There was no surgery, he is just not about to train at the moment. He has got some rehab of course and it's not too good a situation for him, for us, everybody.

"It's not important what I could say because everyone thinks the same. He's here, he's not available at the moment, but he is doing rehab. We will see how he reacts to that and then when he can play again."

Sakho has been out of action since the Merseyside derby on April 20 after a sample he gave following the Europa League tie with Manchester United was found to have a fat-burning substance in it.

It is believed the France international may be considering his legal options, having been cleared to return to the game.

"I cannot say too much as a manager. I don't know exactly what will happen now from Mama's side or UEFA's side," Klopp added.

"But as a human being I can say it's a sad story. He didn't play now for three and a half months. That's obviously not really cool, but we all know that doping is a very serious thing and we cannot have that.

"But I am sure they tried to do the right thing. Others have to talk about this because I don't know what I am allowed or able to say. That's one thing and the other is that Mama is currently injured."

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