Skrtel waiting for Liverpool green light

Zenit St Petersburg defender Martin Skrtel has passed his medical at Liverpool.

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The Slovakia international will complete his £6.5million move from Zenit St Petersburg as soon as Liverpool's owners rubber-stamp the deal as he has already agreed personal terms.

Skrtel, who was last in Liverpool in early December to play for Zenit against Everton in the UEFA Cup, is rated as one of the most promising young defenders in Europe.

The deal will mark the end of Rafael Benitez's search for a new centre-half that began with the unsuccessful pursuit of Gabriel Heinze and which became increasingly urgent in recent weeks following injuries to both Daniel Agger and Sami Hyypia.

Skrtel, 23, has 15 caps and joined Zenit in 2004, going on to make more than 100 appearances in the Russian league.

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