‘He is a target’ – Liverpool squad player linked with surprise January transfer

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Fenerbahce have turned their attentions to Joel Matip in their bid to strengthen defensively during the January transfer window.

The Liverpool defender only signed for the Reds in summer 2016 but has since fallen down the pecking order due to injuries and a subsequent inconsistency.

Matip has managed just seven appearances across all competitions so far this season, only three of which have been starts.

He has otherwise played the role as understudy to what has been an imperious first choice centre-back partnership of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.

Turkish football expert Emre Sarigul claims Liverpool’s former director of football Damien Comolli, now of Fenerbahce, is leading the efforts to sign Matip.

He told the Liverpool Echo: “They need defenders – in fact they need a complete squad overhaul – and Comolli has been reaching out to Matip. What happens, we’ll see, but he is a target for the club.”

“But it will have to be loans or free transfers because I don’t think we’ll see any permanent deals in January because Fenerbahce are under financial scrutiny because of Financial Fair Play.”

Joel Matip – image by Liverpoolfc.com

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It’s difficult to believe Jurgen Klopp would be prepared to let the defender leave as he strives to maintain his squad’s strength in depth in view of maintaining a Premier League title charge.

Matip teased signs of becoming an inspired free transfer during his debut campaign at the club, only to see his form cut short by a dispute over his refusal to play for Cameroon at the African Cup of Nations.

His frustrations continued during a stuttering 2017/2018 season when his grip on a starting role was loosed by two separate injury layoffs.

With Ragnar Klavan’s summer departure and Dejan Lovren’s history of niggling injuries in mind, it makes sense to keep hold of the former Schalke man.

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