Joël Matip exit from Liverpool confirmed as Jürgen Klopp suggestion comes to nothing

Joe Gomez, Joël Matip and Virgil van Dijk captain of Liverpool with the Carabao Cup in the dressing room after the Carabao Cup Final between Chelsea and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on February 25, 2024 in London, England.
Joël Matip will leave Liverpool this summer upon the expiration of his contract. -Credit:Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Joël Matip will leave Liverpool on a free transfer this summer after eight years of service, it has been confirmed. An injury in December ended his final season with the club prematurely.

Arriving on a free transfer in 2016, Matip was one of the best pieces of business in the Klopp era, as well as one of the defining players. Despite notoriously suffering with injuries, he overcame multiple setbacks to build a long Liverpool career, and will leave as a legend in the eyes of many.

Matip will leave having made 201 appearances for Liverpool in all competitions. He has won the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup during his time at Anfield, playing a central role in many of those successes.

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It's not yet known what comes next for Matip. But he is entering the final stages of rehabilitation for the injury he suffered against Fulham, so the 32-year-old should be free to look for a new club.

However, this process might be complicated by the fact Matip has not played for so long, coupled with his concerning injury history. Werder Bremen decided to take the risk on Naby Keïta last summer, and it's fair to say it has not worked out at all.

Given the circumstances, Klopp suggested after the injury prognosis was confirmed that Liverpool could extend Matip's contract. That would have allowed him to complete his recovery and return to competitive action before facing release from the club.

"I'm pretty sure the club will show their class, just how they should do," Klopp said in the aftermath of the Matip injury. But as the weeks and months have passed, a new deal has looked increasingly unlikely, and confirmation has now arrived that the defender will depart. says: Even last summer, Klopp was not getting the final say in calls such as these. It's been reported that he wanted to keep both James Milner and Roberto Firmino, only for Liverpool to overrule him.

Now, with a new structure in place behind the scenes and Klopp on his way out, his say will have been particularly minimal. Nor is Arne Slot likely to have been consulted, with the decision falling to Michael Edwards, new sporting director Richard Hughes and the rest of the recruitment team that has been put together over the last few months.

A new contract for Matip would have been a touch of class. But at the same time, with his recovery now nearly complete, it's not hard to see why it might work for everyone to part ways. Indeed, we don't know for certain whether the Cameroonian would have been interested in an extension.