104-cap high-profile one-time Rangers target now living Champions League dream
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

104-cap high-profile Rangers target now living Champions League dream

As Steven Gerrard took over at Rangers, reports of a link-up with former Liverpool teammate Martin Skrtel closely followed as the Slovakian star became an Ibrox target.

The Ibrox boss was tasked with bolstering a weak defence and the Slovak hero – who was turning out for Fenerbahce at the time – was signposted as a potential solution.

One-time Rangers target Martin Skrtel is now turning out in the Champions League for Istanbul Başakşehir. (Photo by Ozan Kose – Pool/Getty Images)

Rangers were first linked to the player in 2018 but a deal reportedly fell apart due to finances [Scottish Sun].


The club was then said to be resurrecting their interest in the centre-half last summer with the player himself even confirming that his representatives had held talks with Rangers [Daily Record].

But once again talks broke down and Skrtel first opted for a move to Serie A side Atalanta – an ill-fated spell which only lasted three weeks and broke down after disagreements over playing style.

Not that Atalanta missed the player – the Italian side managed to make the Champions League quarter-finals and finish third in Serie A last season.

After leaving the Italians Skrtel then move across Istanbul to Başakşehir and since then has been a revelation in Turkey.

The defender played 20 matches to help Istanbul Başakşehir to a historic first Super Lig title and played eight games for them in the Europa League.

This season, at the ripe old age of 35, Skrtel is still a key player for the team at home and abroad starting all four of the club’s Champions League group stage matches this season.

They might be bottom of a competitive group which contains Man United, PSG and RB Leipzig but Skrtel has played a key role in guiding them there.

Former Rangers target Skrtel has made 104 caps for Slovakia in an impressive career which has seen him play in Slovakia, Russia, England, Turkey and Italy. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

What might’ve been had Rangers managed to snare the defender in either 2018 or 2019?

Not that it really matters for the Gers now – the Ibrox club have kept 17 clean sheets in 21 games this season as Steven Gerrard’s side start the campaign on electric form.

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