Liverpool hope to secure a deal for Schalke defender Joel Matip when the transfer window re-opens in January - but will need to wait until next summer before the Cameroon international arrives at Anfield.
This is according to the Liverpool Echo, who broke the news on Monday that the Reds have agreed to sign Serbian midfielder Marko Grujic on a five-year contract. The 19-year-old is poised to undergo a medical in Merseyside later this week before being loaned back to Red Star Belgrade for the remainder of the season.
Matip, if he agrees to sign for Liverpool, would arrive alongside Grujic next summer. However, signing the versatile centre-back on a pre-contract agreement in January might prove difficult, with a host of European clubs reportedly keen to secure the 24-year-old’s services.
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It’s understood that Newcastle and Sunderland are also keen on Matip - although the opportunity to play at Anfield under Klopp might be more appealing to the Schalke ace.
Matip, who can also play as a holding midfielder, has scored 22 goals in 236 appearances for his current employers. He has featured in every one of Schalke’s Bundesliga matches this term, scoring two goals.
Kolo Toure replacement?
With Kolo Toure, 34, likely to leave Liverpool at the end of the season, the versatile Matip could be an ideal replacement.
Klopp is clearly preparing for next season and, based on reports this week, appears to be intent on reducing the average age of his squad.
Liverpool fans: would Joel Matip be a decent signing? Have your say by leaving a comment below.