Manchester City keen to boost defensive ranks with Liverpool star

With a long-sustained interest in Thiago Silva believed to now be dwindling, Manchester City are ready to turn their attentions to Liverpool’s Martin Skrtel, as Roberto Mancini aims to further strengthen his defence.

Silva has long been on Mancini’s radar, but a £35million asking price, along with AC Milan’s reluctance to sell the Brazilian, appears to have scuppered any potential deal.

Skrtel has emerged as a viable alternative though, and new Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers could face his first big test at Anfield in keeping hold of the Slovakian.

Central defence is a position which Rodgers is hoping to strengthen himself, but he could find a bid in the region of £20million too much to turn down for the 27-year-old.

The imposing defender was one of the Reds’ star performers last term, and was in fact voted Liverpool’s Player of the Year for the campaign just gone by.

Better news for Rodgers meanwhile, is that Daniel Agger is ready to commit his long-term future to Liverpool, but that is likely to do little to deter City and other potential suitors from attempting to land Skrtel.

Indeed, mega-rich Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala have also revealed a desire to secure the towering centre half, though City are one of the only clubs in the world who can compete with their financial might.

With that in mind, and Skrtel outlining frustrations at Liverpool’s league standing last term, the Slovakian could favour a move to Eastlands as he enters the peak years of his career.

An eighth-place finish means the Reds will miss out on Champions League football again this term, with only their Carling Cup success of last year to thank for a Europa League spot.

Those facts considered, a switch to the Premier League champions appears an appealing prospect for Skrtel, who would also receive a wage hike should he swap Merseyside for Manchester.