By Alex Stevens

Liverpool’s only competition for the summer signing of Joel Matip was Newcastle, Football Insider sources understand.

The Merseysiders landed the Cameroon international on a free transfer in the summer after his contract had expired at previous club Schalke.

Matip, 25, had committed to a pre-contract agreement with Liverpool in January after being convinced to link up with Jurgen Klopp in the Premier League.

A well-placed source has told Football Insider that Liverpool’s only competition for the signing of Matip either from English or overseas clubs came from Newcastle, who ended the 2015-16 season by being relegated to the Championship.

Remarkably, no other teams were in the contest to land Matip at the time when he was secured by Liverpool in January, even though the defender was proven in the Bundesliga and an established international.

Matip has been a revelation at Liverpool this season, delivering a series of brilliant displays at the heart of a defence that has appeared brittle when he has been unavailable.

He has made 13 appearances for the Premier League giants this season and developed an encouraging partnership with Dejan Lovren.

Matip missed the Merseyside club’s trip to Bournemouth on Sunday with a minor ankle injury and was sorely missed as they let slip a 3-1 lead to lose 4-3 in a remarkable match.

The defender emerged from the Schalke youth ranks and went on to make 258 senior appearances for the club before joining Liverpool.

In other Liverpool transfer news, a senior Anfield figure has secured a dream move to Brazil.