Liverpool stitched up Schalke twice, not once, in terms of centre-backs this summer

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Not only did Liverpool sign Schalke’s longest serving player Joel Matip in the summer on a Bosman free transfer, but we snapped up the man they had lined up to replace him, too!

Liverpool signed Ragnar Klavan from Augsburg midway through the window just gone and the Estonian has started pretty well on Merseyside, despite arriving to little fanfare.

Speaking to Estonian broadcaster Eesti Televisioon, Klavan explained why he had to turn down the Germans, who obviously wanted him to replace Matip – the Cameroonian who had been with them since 2000.

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“I was in Augsburg eating somewhere, and I saw an English number come up [on my phone],” he said.

“My agent had told me Klopp would call, but he didn’t say a certain time, so I assumed it was him.

“This whole situation, to be a 30-year-old Estonian and to have your agent calling you saying Liverpool is very interested in you, that Klopp is a big fan of yours.

“You could think that someone is doing some kind of [prank] television show.”

With Dejan Lovren injured, Klavan is likely to partner Matip in central defence against Manchester United after the international break.

It’s going to be some occasion, as our bitterest rivals are heading to Merseyside on a Monday evening for a late kick-off.

Klavan will be up against Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but we back him to be up to the challenge.

“If you look at the level the club is at, and how they play, then we have a very friendly squad,” Klavan continued.

“I was surprised when I came here, I was expecting a bit of a tougher atmosphere.

“This is definitely like winning the lottery for me.”

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