24-year-old defender Joel Matip is almost sure to leave Schalke 04, with his contract ending next summer, but with Liverpool’s present defensive woes, the Reds may just line up a 4 million pound bid for Matip in January.

The Cameroon International is set to leave Schalke 04, where he has been for 15 years, amid interest from “many interesting clubs” including Liverpool and Sunderland. He has even rejected a 4 year long 2.5 million pound a year deal to stay at the Bundesliga club.

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“Our competition is tough, [but] we had a very good conversation. We will meet in January again, then he will decide,” said Schalke general manager Horst Heldt, according to The Mirror.

Matip has no significant weaknesses [via: whoscored.com] and is very good at tackling and interceptions; he also poses a set piece threat and has chipped in with a goal or two every season for Schalke. These qualities have attracted the interest of Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool and the deal looks more than likely to happen with Matip’s refusal to commit his future to Schalke 04.

When is he heading to Anfield?

While the prospect of landing the defender on a free transfer would seem like the logical choice for Liverpool, those plans have been derailed by the injury crisis that has hit Anfield. Martin Skrtel has been ruled out for 6 weeks, while Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez are also on the injury list.

This leaves only Mamadou Sakho and Kolo Toure as the two centre-backs at Anfield, and this is a major situation that Jurgen Klopp must deal with in the winter. There have been reports of a 4 million pound bid being lined up for January and Schalke will most probably be looking to cash in on the player, rather than see him leaving on a free transfer in the summer.