Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel insists leaving the club was never an option for him this summer despite being consistently linked with a move away from Anfield.
The Slovakian international found himself out of favour with Brendan Rodgers for the second half of the 21012/13 season prompting speculation the Northern Irish manager was ready to replace him, with Napoli persistently linked with a move for the centre half.
But despite the deadline day arrivals of Mamadou Sakho and Tiago Ilori from Paris Saint Germain and Sporting Lisbon respectively, Skrtel has revealed an exit was never discussed, adding that his resolute performance against Manchester United on Sunday was not a last ditch attempt to justify his continued presence at the club.
"I'm staying at Liverpool. The rumours were never as strong as it was made out," Skrtel told SITA.
"There has been no contact with other clubs because the Liverpool management told me that they were counting on me.
"That is why a transfer was never in my plans.
"I have never considered it (the United game) to be a chance to show that I deserve to stay at Liverpool. It was a big derby but, on the other hand, it was also just another league game."
Following the retirement of Jamie Carragher at the end of last season, Skrtel and teammate Daniel Agger are now the longest serving members in a new look Liverpool defence.
Despite having seen his spot in the starting XI taken from him last season and with new faces adding more competition for a first team place, the 28-year-old sees no problems with a refreshed backline.
"Players come, players leave, it is a normal thing and we will see how it develops," Skrtel added.
Skrtel's first appearance of the season came in that 1-0 victory over United at Anfield on Sunday with Kolo Toure absent through injury. Liverpool's defence has begun the season in resolute fashion, not conceding a single goal in their opening three Premier League games.