Liverpool sporting director

Michael Edwards has been the driving force behind Liverpool tying Joel Matip down to a lucrative new contract, Football Insider understands.

The Merseyside giants announced yesterday that the centre-back, 28, has agreed the terms of five-year contract running until 2024.

A Liverpool source has told Football Insider that director of football Edwards pushed for Matip to be handed a deal worth around £120,000-a-week.

It ties him to Anfield until just over a month short of his 33rd birthday, and is worth £31million in total.

This comes after Football Insider revealed in April that the club were preparing to open talks with Matip over a new contract to replace the agreement set to expire next June.

Liverpool had already triggered an option to extend that deal by 12 months until 2021, but felt they needed greater protection for a key asset.

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Matip has established himself as Virgil van Dijk’s first choice centre-back partner since Joe Gomez suffered an ankle injury last December that required surgery.

He was integral to June’s Champions League triumph as well as a remarkable 17-match Premier League winning run stretching back to the Spring.

Matip is set to take his place back in the starting XI against Manchester United on Sunday after missing the 2-1 win over Leicester City before the international break due to injury.

The Cameroonian joined on a free transfer from Schalke in the summer of 2016.

In other Liverpool news, it can be REVEALED that the club plan to sell big name Klopp calls ‘Pure Joy to watch’ early next year.