16 Jan 2016

Anfield-bound? Klopp responds to Liverpool rumours over 'excellent' €14m powerhouse; confirms transfer is not 'agree' yet

According to multiple reports this week, Liverpool have agreed a deal to sign €14m-rated Schalke centre-half Joel Matip, but is there any truth to this particular rumour?

On Tuesday, The The Mirror today:

"A deal has been agreed in principle [with] Joel Matip [who] is set to join Liverpool on a free transfer...at the end of the season. Jurgen Klopp has been an admirer since his time as Borussia Dortmund boss".

When asked on Friday whether there is any truth to this rumour, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp told reporters:

"At the moment we have nothing to say about it. If and when something is agreed we will speak about it but nothing yet, nothing else to say.”

Klopp usually denies transfer stories outright if there's no veracity to them (as he did with the Pato rumour), but this is not a denial; it's arguably tacit confirmation that something is happening behind the scenes:

* Klopp states there's 'nothing to say' right now about 'it' (i.e. the transfer).

* He then directly refers to the deal by saying 'if and when something is agreed'. If there's no transfer being negotiated, then there's nothing to be agreed at some point in the future.

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

* Current contract expires in May 2016, which means 6'4 Matip is free in January to sign a pre-contract agreement.

* Right-sided centre-back (75% of games) who can also play as a defensive midfielder (20% of games), or a right-back (5% of games).

* 34 goals/assists in 239 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).

* 6 separate injuries during the 2014-15 season (84 days on the sidelines/15 games missed), including a fractured foot, thigh muscle rupture, and an adductor tear.

Up to that point, Matip had been injury free, so hopefully, this won't be the start of a period of regular, niggling issues.

Liverpool's next centre-back?

Author: Jaimie K


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