Liverpool have agreed a pre-contract deal with Schalke 04 defender Joel Matip, who will join the club in the summer on a free transfer, according to the Mirror.
The defender, a Cameroon international, entered the last six months of his contract in January and was reportedly on the lookout for a fresh challenge. FIFA rules dictate a player can discuss and sign pre-contract deals with foreign outfits and Matip would have had a number of offers.
He had been on Jurgen Klopp's radar ever since he took charge at Anfield and the German appears to haven taken advantage of Matip's situation, opening contract talks within days of his eligibility to do so.
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Frustratingly, Matip will not be able to link up with the Reds until the end of the season, which may be why Klopp decided to sign Steven Caulker from QPR on a six-month loan deal.
Caulker is seen as a short-term measure while Liverpool try to cope with a number of injuries to their first-team centre-backs. A permanent deal is still considered very unlikely and a return to west London appears inevitable, regardless of how well he does.
Matip, 24, however, is seen as a long-term option. At 6'3", he certainly has the physique required to flourish in the English game and his technical ability makes him perfect for Klopp's system.
And it seems Liverpool fans agree with Klopp's judgement. Although there is no confirmation – there is unlikely to be until the end of the season – fans are already revelling in this alleged agreement.
If true, Matip will arrive at Anfield at the same time as Serbian starlet Marko Grujic, whose move to Liverpool was recently confirmed.
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