17 Dec 2015

Transfer Update: Liverpool ready to sign pre-contract deal with 'excellent' €14 powerhouse. Replace Sakho?

Despite having four senior international centre-halves on the books (Toure, Sakho, Skrtel, and Lovren), Liverpool are reportedly considering a move for yet another central defender.

According to the Daily Mail:

"Liverpool have expressed an interest Joel Matip and are ready to discuss a pre-contract agreement with the versatile defender".

With Mamadou Sakho constantly linked with a January move to Roma, it appears that Liverpool are on the lookout for potential replacements, and €14m-rated Matip appears to be one of the options (along with Dortmund duo Mats Hummels, and Neven Subotic).

However, when asked today about Matip's future, Schalke boss André Breitenreiter told ESPN:

"I can rule out a winter departure [for Matip]. I am wishing for more competition between the players. We need that to maximise their performances."

Some info about Matip, recently hailed as 'excellent' by Schalke Chief Horst Heldt:

* Current contract expires in May 2016, which means Matip is free in January to sign a pre-contract agreement with another club.

* Right-sided centre-back, who can also play as a defensive midfielder (To date: 238 games for Schalke. 75% = centre-half; 20% = DM; 5% = left/right back).

* 34 goals/assists in 238 games for Schalke, which is excellent for a defender. As a comparison: Skrtel has 24 goals/assists in 314 games for Liverpool.

* 26 apps for the Cameroon national team, including appearances in the last two World Cup tournaments (Scored against Brazil in last year's World Cup).

Matip appears to have the pedigree, and at the age of 24, he's entering the prime years of his career.

Some Liverpool fans continue to live in denial over the Mamadou Sakho situation, and many refuse to countenance the possibility that France defender may leave the club in the near future.

Well, In my view, Sakho's loyalties lie with France first, and Liverpool second, and he gets a hint of his international place being under threat, he'll be off like a shot.

If that happens, Liverpool will need a back-up plan that doesn't include moving Emre Can into central defence.

Is Matip a viable option?

Author: Jaimie K



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