27 Jan 2016

Late Transfer: Liverpool submit official offer for 'excellent' €14m powerhouse. Deal already agreed 'in principle'

Over the last month, Liverpool have been regularly linked with a move for €14m-rated Schalke star Joel Matip, and credible new reports today claim that Jurgen Klopp is trying to seal a last-gasp deal for the coveted centre-back.

Two weeks ago, the The Mirror claimed:

"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".

According to new reports today, though, Klopp is trying to seal a last-ditch deal during the current transfer window:

"Liverpool have put in an offer for Schalke defender Joel Matip, according to Sky sources. Matip has told his club he wants to leave".

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

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

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

* 35 goals/assists in 249 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 last season, Matip had been injury free, so hopefully, this won't be the start of a period of regular injuries. That said, with Liverpool's luck, it'll probably lead to a sustained period of niggling injury issues.

Klopp is clearly desperate to bring some steel and solidity to the back four, and with Liverpool continually shambolic in defence, who can blame him?

One thing's for sure: like Lovren, Matip will be under intense pressure to make a positive defensive impact. Rightly or wrongly, fans will expect him to make a difference, and unless he's ready for the weight of expectation, there's a chance he may buckle (just like Lovren).

Is Matip up to the task?

Author: Jaimie K


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