According to the very reliable Paul Joyce from The Express, Liverpool have secured a pre-contract agreement with Schalke 04 defender Joel Matip.

Matip’s contract with the German side expires in the summer and Liverpool will sign the player on a free transfer thanks to the Bosman ruling.

Stu Forster/Getty Images SportHe plays predominantly at centre-back, however, has been also been known to play as a defensive midfielder. Liverpool have been linked with Matip for a while, and the Cameroonian now looks to be set for a move to Merseyside.

Matip has played every minute of Schalke’s Bundesliga campaign this season and has netted himself three league goals. He has also appeared on the scoresheet once in the Europa League for his team, having scored in Schalke’s 3-0 victory over APOEL Nicosia.

Since signing his first professional contract with the club in 2009, the 24-year-old has made 243 appearances for ‘Die Königsblauen’. He has 23 goals to his name and has set up 12 for his teammates.