Liverpool are in the driver's seat to complete the signing of Joel Matip, with Schalke 04 likely to announce details about the player's future in the next few days. Matip's contract with the Bundesliga club expires in the summer and the Reds are set to sign a pre-contract agreement with the player that will see him move to the Premier League next summer.
French outlet Revier Sport reports that the uncertainty over the player's future has been resolved, with Schalke willing to let him leave on a free transfer in the upcoming transfer window. Jurgen Klopp has already set eyes on rebuilding his squad for the upcoming season and is looking to tie up deals this season so as to help bed the players in early when the campaign begins next time around.
Schalke have failed in their attempts to tie him down to a new contract, with general manager Horst Heldt revealing that a final decision on his contract situation will be disclosed next week. The 24-year-old has been with Schalke for 16 years, from the youth level and has made 180 Bundesliga appearances, scoring 16 goals, coupled with 44 starts in Europe. He will bring some much needed experience to the Liverpool backline, which has been bleeding goals on a regular basis this season.
Matip can also double up as a defensive midfielder, which Klopp can use to shut down games if required. The Reds currently have four senior defenders on their payroll, in the form of Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho, Dejan Lovren and Kolo Toure. Toure's contract with the Reds expires after the end of this season and he is unlikely to have his deal renewed.
Meanwhile, on the attacking front, the Reds failed with a January bid for Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Alex Teixeira, with the Ukranian club unwilling to budge from their valuation of the Brazilian. Failure to spruce up their attack has come back to haunt Liverpool, with the Reds crashing out of the fourth round of the FA Cup to West Ham, in a replay that went into extra time.