Liverpool tipped to land Schalke defender on free

Liverpool are reportedly set to clinch a deal for Joel Matip, who is expected to join them when his contract expires at the end of the season.

It is no secret that Jurgen Klopp feels his squad is somewhat short in certain areas, not least in defence were a spat of injuries has left him scratching around for reinforcements. This led to the loan signing of Steven Caulker from Queens Park Rangers last week, but it is widely thought that the former Tottenham Hotspur man will leave once this spell is over.

According to The Mirror, the Reds coach has already begun to think long-term about bolstering his rearguard, and this has resulted in an approach to Matip. The Cameroon international, who stands at 6ft 3in tall, has been at Schalke for 16 years, but his contract is set to expire at the end of the season and he has told the club that he fancies a fresh challenge.

It is claimed that Klopp has long been an admirer of the 24-year-old, having witnessed him several times during his Borussia Dortmund days. Although the Gelsenkirchen club still hope to persuade him to sign a fresh deal, it is reported by the tabloid that the player remains determined to head for pastures new, and a deal to Anfield looks most likely.

Liverpool, meanwhile, were involved in an epic Premier League match on Wednesday night. Twice they took the lead against Arsenal through goals from Roberto Firmino but twice the league leaders hit back, and even went ahead through Olivier Giroud on 55 minutes. But just as they looked to open up a gap at the top of the table, Joe Allen levelled in stoppage time.

“It was a great game and ultimately we will talk about this game not too long because Sunday is Manchester United but it is not easy to forget,” said Klopp. “The beginning was really good, not perfect but not too far away. At half time we came back in the game, then you have low battery and you need a bit of luck and we had it. It was a well-deserved draw.”

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