Liverpool take first steps to sign Schalke defender
Liverpool have got the plans in motion to sign Joel Matip on a free transfer at the end of the season.
The 24-year-old Schalke defender has been free to discuss his future since the turn of the year as he has entered the final six months of his contract.
And according to Sky Sports, Liverpool have made their first move in an attempt to sort out a deal for the player this month.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been a long-term admirer of the central defender and it appears that Matip too is keen for a fresh challenge following 16 years in Gelsenkirchen.
When asked recently if he was planning to sign Matip, Klopp hinted at a deal.
"Are we interested in Sane and Matip? They are Schalke players, right? It is correct that we are looking at all options," he said.
The German manager has already shown his intention to bring in more defenders following the arrival of Steven Caulker on loan.
Allan Rodrigues de Souza looks set to join Belgian outfit Sint Truiden on loan until the end of the season.
The Liverpool youngster had a successful spell in Finland earlier in the campaign and the Reds have been considering other offers from across Europe.
Allan returned to Merseyside in October having helped SJK clinch the Finnish title and has been training with Klopp's squad ever since.
Lazar Markovic, meanwhile, has emerged as a target for Fiorentina.
Markovic is currently on a season-long loan deal at Fenerbahce after strugging during his debut season on Merseyside.
The 21-year-old joined Liverpool from Benfica in 2014 for £20m but started just 11 Premier League games.
Since moving to Fenerbahce he has turned in a number of impressive displays with the Turkish side keen to make his move a permanent one.
But now, according to Italian newspaper La Nazione, Fiorentina are also interested in signing Markovic this summer.
Klopp is yet to speak to the Serbia international about his future at Anfield but it is understood that he would be willing to sell him for the right price.