By Dominic Toner

Liverpool defender Joel Matip will be available during the Africa Cup of Nations despite his nation Cameroon competing in the tournament.

The Echo claim that the 25-year-old has ruled himself out of playing for Cameroon and is focused solely on helping the Reds during a busy January schedule.

The report details that international manager Hugo Broos tried to convince Matip to return after his self-imposed exile, but he will not change his mind.

Liverpool attacker Sadio Mane will be called up to the Senegal squad and play in the Africa Cup of Nations, which takes place between 14 January to 5 February.

The Merseyside club face five matches while the tournament is on, with four Premier League games and the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final with Southampton.

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The Reds manager Jurgen Klopp will be pleased with Matip’s decision to stay with the club and will hope to keep the title challenge in full flow.

Matip has emerged as the first-choice centre-back this season and is considered a fantastic bit of business after his free transfer to Anfield in the summer.

The defender has formed a strong partnership alongside Dejan Lovren and the pair are above Ragnar Klavan and Lucas in the pecking order.

He made 258 appearances for his former club Schalke in Germany and has shown great maturity since moving to England.

Matip was sidelined for the club’s last game against Bournemouth and they missed him during the 4-3 defeat, but he is set to return against West Ham on Sunday.

In other Liverpool news, the club’s supporters reacted on Twitter to Virgil van Dijk’s performance in the Europa League.