Schalke are still hopeful they can persuade Joel Matip to reject overtures from Liverpool to stay in Gelsenkirchen, according top the club’s sporting director, Horst Heldt.
The Cameroon international has emerged as a top target for Reds boss Jurgen Klopp of late, with reports having suggested that an end of season Bosman move when the centre-back’s contract expires is on his agenda.
Links with a raid before the end of the current transfer window has already been branded a “hoax” by Schalke, but there have been suggestions that positive talks between Liverpool and Matip have already taken place, with the defender free to speak to interested parties.
But, Veltins-Arena chief Heldt remains hopeful that the Bundsliga side will be able to keep their man beyond the end of the season:
“I can’t confirm that an agreement has been made with Liverpool regarding Matip,” he said (as quoted by ESPN), before adding that he still has “hope that Matip will opt to stay.”
The news will come as a further blow for Liverpool, who have already been told to pay a whopping £53m to sign Alex Teixeira from Shakhtar Donetsk this month.