Premier League • England

Richard Hughes given first big headache of Liverpool tenure as Reds star is ‘offered’ to Euro giants

Joel Matip is set to leave Liverpool in the summer

Joel Matip is set to leave Liverpool in the summer

Liverpool are planning to sign a new centre-back and will reportedly allow experienced star Joel Matip to leave this summer to free up space in their squad.

The 32-year-old’s contract is set to expire in June – meaning that as it stands he will be available on a free transfer – and Fenerbahce are keen to bring him in.

Matip has been an important player for Liverpool in recent years but he has faced multiple injury setbacks this term and has made just 14 appearances as a result.

Turkish outlet Sabah state that the Reds have already decided against offering the Cameroonian international a new deal and his agents are now looking for his next club.

The report claims that Matip’s entourage have ‘offered’ him to Fenerbahce as a free agent. The ball is now in the court of the club’s manager Ismail Kartal.

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He intends to ask for some ‘health reports’ about the player. He hasn’t featured since due to a cruciate ligament tear and the Turkish side want to be sure he’ll recover before opening concrete negotiations.

The expectation is that Matip will return to full fitness by June and therefore, they may well opt to bring him in if they can reach an agreement on personal terms.

Liverpool will need to replace Joel Matip this summer

Liverpool were already planning to sign a new centre-back in the coming months and now they will have to step up their efforts.

The Reds’ recruitment chiefs Richard Hughes and Michael Edwards have a number of exciting targets on their shortlist as they begin the preparations for the post-Jurgen Klopp era.

As reported by TEAMtalk, one centre-back Liverpool are very keen on is Crystal Palace star Marc Guehi who is open to taking on a new challenge.

The England star is valued at around £50m by the Eagles and Newcastle are equally keen to bring him in this summer.

Juventus youngster Dean Huijsen is another player on the radar of both Liverpool and Newcastle and like Guehi, would be keen on joining one of the two Premier League sides.

He would be more of a long-term prospect than an immediate improvement to Liverpool’s starting XI, however.

There are many more targets on Liverpool’s centre-back shortlist but what’s clear is that Matip has almost certainly played his last game at Anfield.

He has made over 200 appearances for the Merseyside giants since joining in 2017 and replacing him will be no easy task for Hughes and Edwards.

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