Joel Matip to Liverpool: Latest Transfer Details, Comments and Reaction

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2016

Schalke's Cameroonian defender Joel Matip celebrates after scoring the 1-0 goal during the German first division Bundesliga football match FC Schalke 04 v 1 FSV Mainz 05, in Gelsenkirchen, on September 13, 2015.  AFP PHOTO / SASCHA SCHUERMANN  RESTRICTIONS: DURING MATCH TIME: DFL RULES TO LIMIT THE ONLINE USAGE TO 15 PICTURES PER MATCH AND FORBID IMAGE SEQUENCES TO SIMULATE VIDEO.  == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE == FOR FURTHER QUERIES PLEASE CONTACT DFL DIRECTLY AT + 49 69 650050.        (Photo credit should read SASCHA SCHUERMANN/AFP/Getty Images)

Schalke centre-back Joel Matip has agreed to join Liverpool at the end of the season.

The Bundesliga side confirmed the imminent departure of the Cameroon international, who has been with the club for 16 years:

Manager Horst Heldt said Matip is looking for a new challenge at Anfield, per Schalke:

Reds loanee Steven Caulker was only a short-term signing, as noted by David Maddock and Alex Richards of the Daily Mirrorand he is set to return to Queens Park Rangers at the end of the campaign, with Matip to take a permanent spot in manager Jurgen Klopp's squad.

Cameroon's midfielder Joel Matip (R) celebrates after scoring a goal as Brazil's defender David Luiz (C) and Brazil's goalkeeper Julio Cesar react during the Group A football match between Cameroon and Brazil at the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Bras
EVARISTO SA/Getty Images

The German coach will be well aware of Matip's skill set, facing the player on numerous occasions while boss of Borussia Dortmund. Klopp is said to be an "admirer" of the defender, per Maddock and Richards.

The 24-year-old has featured heavily for the Gelsenkirchen team this term, appearing 24 times in the German league and Europe, according to

Here is a video showing the quality Matip will potentially provide for the Merseyside club:

Matip is a seasoned professional in German football and is ready for the step up to the Premier League after six years in Schalke's first team.

Liverpool are desperate for defensive recruits, and Matip will provide Klopp with an intelligent centre-back at the heart of his back four.

The player is excellent at tracking forwards and has the brain to read dangerous situations. He rarely dives in to make rash challenges and has earned only two yellow cards this season.

Matip should be a quality addition, especially as a free agent, as Klopp begins the rebuilding of Liverpool's starting XI in earnest.