Liverpool: Joel Matip could leave Anfield this summer
Liverpool centre-back Joel Matip could leave the club during the summer transfer window, according to an update from reliable journalist Neil Jones.
The Lowdown: Matip a Reds great
The 31-year-old has been a superb servant for the Reds during the Jurgen Klopp era, arriving on a free transfer in 2016 and winning everything there is to win at club level.
Matip has often been first-choice alongside Virgil van Dijk down the years but that has changed following the emergence of Ibrahima Konate, who started last year’s FA Cup and Champions League finals, perhaps proving he is now the go-to man alongside Van Dijk.
The Cameroonian’s current Liverpool deal expires at the end of next season, and there are some question marks over his future at the club.
The Latest: Summer exit on the cards?
According to Goal‘s Jones, Matip is someone who could possibly move on this summer:
“He was Klopp’s first signing as Liverpool manager, but is this the end of the road for the former Cameroon international?
“There have been growing whispers from within the club that Matip may move on this summer. Virgil van Dijk and Konate look to be the Reds’ preferred centre-back pairing going forward, while Joe Gomez signed a long-term contract last summer and provides a homegrown squad option.
“Matip will enter the final year of his deal in the summer, and if a suitable offer was received for the 31-year-old, it would be hard to refuse.”
The Verdict: Keep him until 2024
In truth, selling Matip at the end of this season doesn’t make a huge amount of sense, considering he remains an important figure, being hailed for his ‘huge presence’ by Jamie Carragher.
Granted, injuries are always an issue, but the wise decision would be to keep him as a squad player until his contract runs down, before allowing him to leave for free.
The £100,000-a-week-earning Matip can continue to be an important figure between now and then – he will be vital in the coming weeks, with both Van Dijk and Konate injured – as he adds to his 180 appearances for Liverpool, and at the age of 31 will hardly command a worthwhile fee this summer anyway.
With several midfielders out of contract and expected to leave at the end of this season, the surgery this time around should be focused on the centre of the park, not in defence.