Liverpool are lining up a move for Schalke centre-back Malick Thiaw, according to reports.
The 18-year-old made his senior debut for the Bundesliga earlier this month and has already described as the next Joel Matip by the German media.
According to the Sunday Mirror, Liverpool have been extensively scouting Thiaw and are now planning a move.
The report claims that there is a £7 million release clause in Thiaw’s current contract with Schalke, which expires next year, but the Bundesliga club are keen for the defender to sign a new deal and raise that figure.
Negotiations between Thiaw and Schalke are currently on hold, which gives Liverpool the chance to make their move.
Thiaw is already being compared Matip, who joined Liverpool from Schalke on a free transfer in 2016.
And Jurgen Klopp has already admitted that he considers Matip one of his best-ever signings.
‘He played as an 18-year-old boy for Schalke in the Bundesliga. It’s maybe not such a respected league in England, but it’s a strong league and he played there, and was always a standout player, a fixed point in defence,’ Klopp said of Matip earlier this season.
‘Yes, he lacked a little bit of consistency, that can happen especially with his physical stature. I’m also tall, we [tall people] don’t always look sensational when we move, but he grew and developed.
‘In a world of big transfer fees, to sign a player like Joel Matip on a free transfer is incredible.
‘It was maybe one of the best pieces of business we did in the last few years.’
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