Set to leave Schalke on the expiry of his contract this summer, Cameroonian centre-back Joel Matip has announced his decision to join Liverpool.
The 24-year-old has been on the books at Schalke for 16 years, but having entered the final six months of his contract, had targeted a move away from the Bundesliga.
With Schalke sporting director Horst Heldt hinting at a conclusion to talks with Matip at the end of last week, it has been confirmed that the Cameroon international will join Liverpool for the start of 2016/17.
Matip has signed a long-term deal with the Reds, and will add to Jurgen Klopp‘s defensive ranks, with Kolo Toure set to leave the club at the end of the season.
Most comfortable at centre-back, Matip is also able to operate as a left-back, right-back and at the base of the midfield.
But with Klopp’s options at the heart of defence thin as he prepares for next season, as Toure could depart and Steven Caulker’s loan spell is due to end, Matip is likely primed for a role alongside the likes of Mamadou Sakho, Dejan Lovren, Tiago Ilori, Joe Gomez and Martin Skrtel.
Matip is a right-footed defender, but has often been deployed as a left-sided centre-back at Schalke, and this versatility will be key for Klopp.
Reportedly spurning the advances of a pair of Ligue 1 sides, Matip is a sensible, cost-effective signing for Liverpool.
Moving quick to add another player to his ranks, alongside Serbian midfielder Marko Grujic, Klopp’s new-look Reds squad continues to take shape.
- FROM DECEMBER: Joel Matip: Profiling the Schalke centre-back