Joel Matip has reportedly told Liverpool he will not play for Cameroon at the African Cup of Nations early next year.
And it will be a huge lift for Jurgen Klopp if the central defender keeps to his word, having not played for his country since 2015.
The tournament in Gabon runs from January 14 to February 5 and despite pressure from Cameroon coach Hugo Broos, the former Schalke defender is set to stay on Merseyside.
Broos was hoping to persuade Matip to end his international exile and earlier this week he told told Belgium’s Voetbal Magazine: “When I took over as coach I went to see him in Gelsenkirchen and ask him to return to the team.
“But he said to me ‘nothing is organised properly in Cameroon’.
“I asked him to give me a chance to prove that we could do it better but he was not convinced.
“But in the meantime I’ve heard that he is now prepared to make a comeback and so I am going to go and see him again.”
Now according to widespread reports in the Mirror, Guardian and Liverpool Echo, Matip will snub Cameroon and instead be available for the Reds at a vital part of their Premier League campaign.
Matip, who has not been on the losing side for the Reds, missed Sunday’s 4-3 defeat to Bournemouth as Liverpool lost for just the second time this season.