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Middlesbrough opt against £6m deal for Liverpool defender Skrtel

Premier League returnees Middlesbrough have withdrawn their interest in Liverpool's Martin Skrtel.

The Northern Echo reports that Boro are no longer looking to sign the Slovakian defender from Anfield as they are planning to stick with their current centre-backs.

Skrtel, 31, is expected to depart Anfield this summer and it was believed that he could find his way to the Riverside Stadium in a £6million deal.

However, the Teessiders will give Daniel Ayala and Ben Gibson the chance to shine in England's top flight after they led the way for Aitor Karanka's defence in the Championship last season.

This scenario will deny Rafa Benitez the chance to lure former Liverpool defender Ayala from Boro to Newcastle United while opening the door for Skrtel to join Turkish champions Besiktas who continue to be heavily linked.

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Andrew Slevison
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