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Skrtel plays down Man City speculation

LIVERPOOL defender Martin Skrtel has brushed aside speculation about his future and insists he is looking forward to the new season at Anfield.

The Slovakia international has been linked with Premier League champions Manchester City and before that Russian big-spenders Anzhi Makhachkala.

However, while Skrtel's agent has previously hinted the player wants to be reassured the club's ambitions meet his own, the 27-year-old said he was optimistic the coming campaign would be better than the last, which brought a first trophy for six years but also saw the side finish eighth.


"I will be leaving for Liverpool on July 6. I am very excited about the new season," Skrtel wrote on his website.

"I hope we will be ready and this time it will be much better than in the last one.

"There is also speculation about my exit from Liverpool but I can say that there was no offer on the table yet and we didn't hold talks with any club."

Skrtel, Liverpool's player of the year last season, has two years remaining on his contract and new Reds manager Brendan Rodgers is likely to want the centre-back to extend that deal.

Meanwhile, Liverpool will welcome one their favourite former players back to Anfield in August, when Sami Hyypia brings his Bayer Leverkusen side to Merseyside for a friendly.

The ex-Finland international, who made 464 appearances in a decade at the club and captained the Reds, is certain to receive a warm welcome for Liverpool's only home friendly of their pre-season campaign, which kicks off at 3pm on August 12.

Liverpool already have a tour to the United States lined up where they will play Toronto, Roma and Tottenham, before they play a two-legged Europa League third qualifying round tie on August 2 and 9.