By Wayne Veysey and Pete O’Rourke
Jurgen Klopp has urged Liverpool to tie Joel Matip down to a new contract amid concern he could find a new club in January, Football Insider understands.
The defender has revived his Anfield career with a series of outstanding performances this year that has pushed even the feted Joe Gomez to third choice centre-back.
A Liverpool source told Football Insider that Klopp has told club chiefs of the need to tie Matip, 28, down to a new deal to replace his current agreement, which expires in June of next year.
The Cameroon international, who joined Liverpool from Schalke on a free transfer in 2016, is free to agree a pre-contract with overseas clubs in the winter window.
That has led to a concentration of effort behind the scenes at the Champions League holders after Matip took his excellent form in the second half of last season into the new campaign.
The centre-back made 26 starts among 31 appearances last season and took full advantage of a mid-season injury to Gomez to play the best football of his Liverpool career alongside Virgil Van Dijk in central defence.
Gomez got the early nod to partner Van Dijk against Norwich City, but Matip has started the subsequent Premier League wins over Arsenal and Southampton as well as the Super Cup triumph against Chelsea.
The giant defender signed a four-year contract when he joined from Schalke and he will have to weigh up whether to accept the new offer Liverpool table or potentially leave.