first_img1 Schalke have confirmed centre-back Joel Matip will join Liverpool in the summer after signing a pre-contract agreement with the Reds.The 24-year-old will move on a free transfer when his current contract with the Bundesliga side expires at the end of the season.The Cameroon international will reportedly pen a four-year deal at Anfield.Liverpool’s interest in Matip came to light in January, although Schalke resisted a sale and remained hopeful they could convince the defender to sign a new deal with the club.But the player decided to move on instead, with Liverpool reportedly beating two clubs from the French Ligue 1 to sign the highly-rated youngster.In a statement on their official website on Monday afternoon, Schalke confirmed their efforts to convince Matip to stay had been in vain.Chief executive Horst Heldt said: “His decision is nothing against Schalke. He wants to try something new.”“We have since May last year had many intensive discussions, both with Joel and his advisor. It was soon clear that factors would be decisive for Joel’s decision that we ultimately could not influence.”Meanwhile, Matip expressed his excitement to join Liverpool and begin life in the Premier League.“I have always said that there is only one reason I would leave Schalke – to experience something completely new,” said the defender.“For that reason, I never considered a move to another Bundesliga club. Even though the decision wasn’t easy, I am certain that this is the right moment for me to take the next step in my career.“Schalke 04 will always be like my family. I have always been very proud to play for this fantastic club.  “I will give my all in the coming months to ensure that we get the most we can out of this season. I owe that to both the fans and my team.” Schalke centre-back Joel Matip last_img read more