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Liverpool agree deal for Schalke defender Joel Matip

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Liverpool have reached a pre-contract agreement with the Schalke centre-back Joel Matip. The 24-year-old defender will join the Reds for free in the summer.

The Schalke defender is out of contract in the summer and Liverpool have moved quickly to secure his services.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is an admirer of the strong and athletic centre back and according to Mirror, a deal is in place to bring him to Anfield.

Liverpool have struggled with their defence over the last few seasons and Klopp is looking to address his back four right away.

Adding someone like Matip will give the Reds some much-needed strength and aerial presence at the back. The Merseyside outfit have often been bullied at the back against teams that are powerful and good in the air.

Liverpool signed Steven Caulker on loan until the end of the season, following an injury crisis and Klopp explained that the player’s aerial ability was a big reason why the club signed him.

Matip has been one of better defenders in Bundesliga this season and has clearly outperformed the likes of Sakho and Lovren.

The 24-year-old is a strong tackler and very good in the air. Furthermore, his excellent distribution means that he can operate as a defensive midfielder as well.

At 6ft 4ins, Matip will provide the Reds with a strong presence at the back and will improve Liverpool during set pieces (both attacking and defending).

Also, Matip is quick and will be well suited to Klopp’s high line. Signing him for free is an excellent business from the club and could go down as one of Liverpool’s best transfers in recent history.

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