OFFICIAL: Matip agrees Liverpool move

Liverpool have confirmed a pre-contract agreement with Schalke defender Joel Matip, who will join as a free agent in the summer.

Earlier revealed the centre-back’s decision to reject new, improved terms with the Bundesliga outfit in order to accept a fresh challenge under Jurgen Klopp on Merseyside.

“I have always said I would only leave Schalke for one reason: to experience something new,” the 24-year-old said on Monday afternoon.

“Therefore a change within the Bundesliga was never a consideration. Although it has not been an easy decision to make I am convinced now is the right time to make this step.

“Schalke will remain a big family for me and I was always proud to play for this great club. Therefore I will do everything possible over the coming months to get the most out of this season.”

Matip joined Schalke in 2000, and his blend of positional intelligence as well as a desire to play on the front foot has established him as one of the premier defenders in Germany.

The club’s general manager Horst Heldt admitted they did everything they could to renew the services of the Cameroon international.

“We have since May last year had many intensive discussions with Joel and his advisor,” he said.

“But it was soon clear that we could not influence the factors that were decisive in Joel’s decision.”

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