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Napoli lose out on another center back?

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According to the English media, Liverpool aren't ready to sell Martin Skrtel. Who's up next in Napoli's search for a defender?

yeah, this looks like a dude set to leave
yeah, this looks like a dude set to leave
Vince Caligiuri

This report comes to us from the Daily Mirror, so feel free to pepper it with as many grains of salt as you wish. But the tabloid is reporting that Liverpool have rejected a £10m bid from Napoli for Martin Skrtel. The problem is, it seems, that Sebastián Coates will be out for quite some time with an injury picked up while on international duty with Uruguay. Therefore, there's no chance the Reds will give up the center back.

Rafa Benítez makes a habit of picking up players he's worked with in the past, so having Napoli chase after Skrtel makes sense. The Slovak is steady enough, I suppose, but the news that he's unavailable shouldn't break any hearts. Napoli should, however -- as has been reiterated again and again -- keep pursuing a strong center back.

Rumor has it that Thomas Vermaelen is up next, although the Belgian won't be fit for the first month of the season. He'd be an upgrade at center back to be sure, but with the frenzy surrounding Arsenal and their transfer window right now, it seems unlikely they'd be willing to let anyone go without making a couple significant signings first.