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Schalke defender Matip to join Liverpool

Schalke 04's Joel Matip challenges 1.FC Cologne's Anthony Modeste (L) during their Bundesliga first division soccer match in Gelsenkirchen, Germany October 4, 2015. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender/Files
Schalke 04's Joel Matip challenges 1.FC Cologne's Anthony Modeste (L) during their Bundesliga first division soccer match in Gelsenkirchen, Germany October 4, 2015. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - Schalke 04 defender Joel Matip will join Liverpool on a free transfer at the end of the season, the Bundesliga club said on Monday.

The German-born Cameroon international has played 181 league games and scored 17 goals for the club he joined as a nine-year-old.

"I have always said that I would only bid goodbye to Schalke to experience something fundamentally new," the 24-year-old told Schalke's website. "That's why I never considered a switch within the (German) league.

"Even though the decision was definitely not easy, I am convinced that now is the time to make the next step."

Liverpool failed in their attempts to sign Matip during the January transfer window but the defender will now get a chance to work under former Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp when he moves to Anfield on July 1.

(Reporting by Pritha Sarkar, editing by Ed Osmond)

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