Premier League • England

Liverpool defender to receive tempting exit offer, as fears grow FSG will deny Klopp his final wish

Liverpool defenders Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip

Liverpool owners FSG may deny Jurgen Klopp his final wish as Reds boss by ousting one of his most trusted stars who already has a club vying for his signature, according to reports.

Klopp will walk away from Anfield at season’s end and Liverpool’s hunt for his replacement is already underway. Xabi Alonso is the odds-on favourite at present and according to one of his former teammates, the Spaniard’s dream is the manage Liverpool.

Klopp will leave Liverpool a conquering hero and one player who’s been there for the vast bulk of his tenure is Joel Matip.

The veteran center-back, 32, was signed ahead of Klopp’s first full season in charge as a free agent in 2016. He – along with James Milner – proved two of the most successful free agent pick-ups in Premier League history.

However, all good things must come to an end and Matip is out of contract when the current campaign concludes. What’s more, the fact he’s currently sidelined after undergoing knee surgery may embolden owners FSG to sever ties.

Long before Klopp’s exit was announced the Liverpool boss publicly called upon FSG to “show their class” by offering Matip an extension.

However, the Reds were ruthless last summer when waving goodbye to several key Klopp lieutenants, such as Jordan Henderson and James Milner.

Matip too may be let go, especially as Klopp’s calls for a new deal won’t hold as much weight given he’ll not be at the club beyond June anyway.

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Matip to link up with Steven Gerrard?

Now, according to a fresh update from 90min, Matip is expected to have a lucrative offer from Saudi Arabia on the table come the summer.

Firstly, 90min reaffirm Matip is out of contract at season’s end and as yet, there’s no talk brewing of an extension on Merseyside.

Instead, Steven Gerrard’s Al-Ettifaq are prepared to offer Matip a late-career payday and are ‘expected to make him an offer.’

Matip previously suggested he’d love to sign a new deal with Liverpool, though whether one is offered isn’t up to him.

Matip doesn’t want to leave

“Schalke was of course my youth club – as a Schalke fan it was an absolute honour to play there,” said Matip back in November. “I had the opportunity to do that for a long time.

“And here in Liverpool, with these absolutely top conditions, you can’t just leave.

“I also feel incredibly comfortable here in my private life. I think it’s desirable not to constantly change clubs. But everyone has to decide that for themselves.

“In any case, I find consistency helpful.”

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Furthermore, when asked if Matip will end his career having only played for Schalke and Liverpool, the defender stressed he’d be “perfectly happy” with his career rounding out that way.

“I’m at an age where I don’t worry so much about the future anymore,” continued Matip. “I try to make the most of every day and don’t look too far ahead.

“If in the end it was just these two clubs, I would be perfectly happy. But in football you never know for sure.”

If Liverpool do cut Matip loose, his direct replacement could come from within the Premier League.