Reliable journalist: Liverpool ace ruled out of FA Cup clash against Plymouth
By Will Butcher
Joel Matip has not travelled to Devon to take part in Liverpool’s FA Cup third-round replay against Plymouth on Wednesday night, according to a reliable journalist.
The Guardian claimed that Jurgen Klopp was speaking to lawyers to discuss Matip’s availability to play against the League Two outfit, with the 25-year-old’s potential inclusion risking Liverpool’s expulsion from the FA Cup.
According to the BBC earlier this month, the former Schalke defender could face a ban from Fifa for the entirety of the African Cup of Nations after refusing to represent Cameroon.
Liverpool Echo reporter James Pearce revealed on his personal Twitter account that the defender has now been left at home as the Reds have decided to await FIFA’s ruling over his eligibility on Friday.
Joel Matip hasn't travelled with the #LFC squad to Devon for tonight's FA Cup replay. Reds have decided to wait for FIFA ruling on Friday.
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) January 18, 2017
The Cameroon international decided not to represent his country at the Africa Cup of Nations.
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Matip has not featured for his country since 2014, although it remains unclear if he has officially retired from international football.
With his side’s future in the FA Cup at risk, Klopp chose not to take the defender to face League Two outfit Plymouth as FIFA look set to finally make a ruling on the case.
Since his summer move from Bundesliga side Schalke on a free, Liverpool’s number 32 has kept five clean sheets in 14 league and cup appearances as well as scoring against Crystal Palace.
Liverpool have decent cover, with the likes of Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez, Lucas Leiva and Ragnar Klavan all competing for a place in the starting XI in the FA Cup clash.
In other Liverpool news, this transfer battle has intensified as a new club enter the frame for Mamadou Sakho.