Liverpool and Schalke's Matip set to announce pre-contract agreement

The Cameroon international is out of contract in the summer and, after rejecting new terms with Schalke, he is ready to confirm Merseyside as his next destination
Liverpool and Schalke defender Joel Matip are expected to officially announce a pre-contract agreement on Monday, Goal can reveal.

The 24-year-old will join the Reds in the summer as a free agent on a four-year deal after rejecting new, improved terms with the Bundesliga outfit, who were desperate to keep hold of him.

Jurgen Klopp has long admired the centre-back, who has netted four goals in all competitions this season and is a threat from set-piece situations.

He considered the Cameroon international as a solution to ease Liverpool’s defensive crisis at the turn of the year, but Matip did not want to move in the January transfer window as he preferred to honour the remainder of his commitment to Schalke.

The Merseysiders have been confident of securing his services in the summer though and encouraging talks with the player will see him confirm that Liverpool will be his destination following the expiration of his contract.

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Matip, who can also operate as a midfield anchor and has previously turned out at full-back, likes to play on the front foot and is familiar with holding a high line. He is statistically strong at interceptions, tackles, clearances and take ons.

The Bochum-born man is hugely comfortable on the ball and has established himself as one of the Bundesliga’s most respected defenders.