Liverpool have made their interest in Schalke centre-back Joel Matip concrete with an official bid this week, according to reports.
Matip has been regularly mooted as a possible addition to Jurgen Klopp‘s defensive line, with the 24-year-old’s current Schalke contract set to expire at the end of the season.
According to reports, Liverpool have looked to capitalise on this with an offer.
Sky Sports claim that the Reds “have taken their interest one step further by tabling a bid for Matip,” citing their German colleagues in suggesting that Matip has told Schalke he wishes to leave.
While Sky Sports are unclear as to whether this offer is for January or a pre-contract deal for the summer, the Guardian relay further reports from Germany suggesting Liverpool have offered £6 million to secure his services this month.
Moving for another centre-back this month would be a surprise move by Klopp, having already secured Steven Caulker on loan from QPR.
With Dejan Lovren returning from injury and Martin Skrtel on his way to recovery, Klopp’s defensive options are increasing by the day.
Kolo Toure and Mamadou Sakho have operated as Klopp’s centre-back pairing in the absence of Lovren, while Tiago Ilori has been recalled from his loan spell with Aston Villa to provide extra cover.
Matip would represent a long-term solution at the back, however, with his aggression, pace and aerial ability well suited to Klopp’s defensive setup.
The Cameroon international is also able to operate on either defensive flank and at the base of the midfield.
But with Jon Flanagan returning from injury, the need to sign Matip this January is questionable.
However, facing competition from a pair of Ligue 1 sides in vying for Matip’s signature this summer, a £6 million January move could see Liverpool take the initiative.
Signing Matip this January would add an invaluable option to Klopp’s ranks, while avoiding the risk of losing out to one of his other suitors at the end of the season.