Football News

Martin Skrtel joins new club after quitting Atalanta without playing a single game

By Harry Edwards

Published: 13:30, 3 September 2019

Former Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel has signed for Istanbul Basaksehir, having terminated his contract with Atalanta less than a month after joining.

The Istanbul club, who finished second in the Turkish Super Lig last season, have signed Skrtel on a one-year deal.

Martin Skrtel’s Atalanta career in four key dates…

  • August 9: Skrtel signs one-year deal with Atalanta.
  • August 25: Skrtel is unused substitute in 3-2 win over SPAL.
  • September 1: Skrtel’s Atalanta contract is reportedly terminated by mutual consent.
  • September 3: Istanbul Bakasehir announce the signing of Skrtel.

Skrtel, 34, had previously signed a one-year contract with Serie A side Atalanta at the start of August, having left Fenerbahce earlier in the summer, ready to help the side in their Champions League campaign.

Upon his arrival at the club in August, Skrtel spoke of his desire to play in the Champions League once more, and readiness to give his all for Atalanta.

He said: “I’m happy to be here and obviously I’m proud and honoured to be part of this football club and I am looking forward to starting with the team on the pitch.

“I always try to do my best and try to leave everything on the pitch for the team. I try to do my job at 100 per cent and as a defender, I try to be as aggressive as I can towards the opponents to stop them scoring.

“I’ve been like this, I am like this and I will be like this, so this is what I can offer to the team.

“For a player, the Champions League is a top competition and I think every player dreams about playing in the Champions League especially as kids.

“I’ve played in the Champions League with Liverpool and I’m happy that I could join Atalanta and be part of Champions League again.”

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The centre-back was an unused substitute in Atalanta’s first Serie A game of the new season last weekend as they won 3-2.

However, Skrtel was not included in the 20-man squad for Atalanta’s home game against Torino on Sunday evening, amid claims his contract had been terminated by mutual consent.

According to the reports from Italy, Skrtel has fallen out with Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini over his delayed introduction into the team.

He had previously confirmed talks over signing for Steven Gerrard’s Rangers side.