Martin Skrtel has caused uncertainty over his Liverpool future after questioning why Brendan Rodgers has dropped him from the starting XI.
Jamie Carragher has been chosen ahead of Skrtel in recent matches, and the Slovakia international appears to doubt the reasons he has been given by Rodgers for the decision.
Skrtel has struggled against big strikers this season, notably Oldham’s Matt Smith and Aston Villa's Christian Benteke, and it's understood Rodgers has told the defender this is his reasoning for leaving him out of the side.
“He gave me some explanation, but it’s hard to tell if it was the true reason he gave me,” said Skrtel. “I don’t think it was and think there is something else behind it.”
Skrtl is clearly unhappy, and although he has appeared to rule out a move before the summer, saying he wouldn't make any "hot-blooded decisions", the 28-year-old will clearly not hang around beyond the current campaign if he expects to sit on the bench.
“It would be useless to think about a transfer during the season even if it is true that you can move to Russia till the end of February,” Skrtel told the Denik Sport newspaper.
“I have come across such views that it would not be correct to consider leaving a club where you have been on the bench in four or five fixtures. On the other hand, it is hard to put up with it. For three years at Liverpool I was playing in almost every match. I have had various thoughts but certainly I’m not going to make any hot-blooded decision.
“I want to be fit as soon as possible and fight for the place in the starting line-up. If the coach should lose interest in keeping me in his team, then we would have to handle it with my agent. For the present it is valid that I am at Liverpool where I have a long-term contract and I am not thinking about leaving.
“The coach has his ideas about the line-up and the question is if I would be in it if I was fit. I would say it’s likelier I wouldn’t.
“When I was healthy, I was training with the team, giving 100 per cent and doing all I could to prove to the coach that I belonged in the starting XI. I was waiting for a chance, one then came in St Petersburg, but then I was not playing again.
“However, now I’m injured and we’ll see what happens when I’m back fit. It’s hard to tell, but I would say it wouldn’t [change].”
Skrtel, who agreed a new deal last year which ties him to the Reds until 2016, claims the decision to omit him from the side came after a good performance.
“It all happened after our match with Manchester United in the middle of January,” he said. “We lost 2-1 but I think that particularly in the second half we played very well. Moreover, a lot of sources gave me a good rating. But he [Rodgers] told me we had lost the organisation of play in the defensive line and that this would be the reason why I would not play in the following matches.
“I don’t know which fixtures he spoke about because we had kept a clean sheet twice in a row and won both matches. Also, we did not disappoint in the game against United.
“Anyway, I’m not the type of player who would be chasing the coach and be in his office all the time, asking for explanations why I’m not playing. If the coach wants to tell me something, he will summon me. I would not like to make any unnecessary conflicts.”Reuse content