Liverpool set to target out-of-contract defender Joel Matip

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Jurgen Klopp is set to bolster his defensive options for next season by targeting a pre-contract agreement with Schalke for talented defender Joel Matip, according to the Daily Mail.

With Dejan Lovren, Mamadou Sakho and Joe Gomez all struggling with injuries this term and veteran defender Kolo Toure looking set to leave in the summer, Liverpool have been left with a major problem in their defensive options.

With unstable rumours suggesting that a marquee signing will not be making his way to Anfield in January, fans have began to question whether or not the Merseyside giants have enough players capable of pushing for a top-four finish this season.

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But, with a free transfer on the cards, Klopp could take his chances and start negotiating with the towering centre-back Matip once the window opens.

The 24-year-old operates predominately as a central defender but is also capable of playing in a holding midfield role, another position Liverpool lack in squad depth.

With some fans deeming Martin Skrtel surplus to requirements in Klopp's foreseeable plans for the future, Matip would be the ideal emplacement to play alongside Mamadou Sakho.

From Klopp's experience of managing in the Bundesliga for Dortmund, he has witnessed first-hand the rise of the German-born Cameroon international since coming through the ranks at Schalke.

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With Liverpool's defensive frailties being exploited by a number of set-pieces due to a lack of aerial threat, Matip could be the sought-after player to thrive under pressure that would be placed on his shoulders.

Not to mention the transfer would cost next to nothing, obviously excluding his wages. Ignoring a player of this quality would seem unforgivable.

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