Liverpool step up pursuit of Bundesliga defender with official offer

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Liverpool have tabled an offer for Schalke 04 defender Joel Matip, according to Sky Sports.

Sky Sports claim that the Reds have stepped up their interest with a concrete bid for the Cameroonian international, who is out of contract at the end of the season and wants to leave the German club.

Although the report adds, via Press Association Sport, that at least two French clubs were interested in Matip, who is likely to be available at a knockdown price as his Schalke deal winds down.

Matip would provide Jurgen Klopp with some much-needed reinforcements at centre-back. Dejan Lovren has missed Liverpool’s last six games through injury and Martin Skrtel is yet to play in 2016.

The 24-year-old would do more than provide cover at Anfield, though. He would push for a regular place in a defence which has conceded more goals than any other top-half team in the Premier League – 32.

Standing at 6ft 4in, Matip could go a long way to addressing the Capital One Cup finalists’ troubles when defending set pieces, and is also a threat from dead-ball situations at the other end of the field.

Klopp will know Matip well having come up against him multiple times during his reign as Borussia Dortmund boss. The player has 178 Bundesliga appearances to his name and 17 goals.

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