Breitenreiter wants Matip stay

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Schalke 04 boss Andre Breitenreiter is hopeful to retain the services of defender Joel Matip amid reports of a free transfer to Liverpool at the end of the season.

The Cameroon international's contract at the Veltins-Arena expires in the off-season and has been reluctant to sign a new deal.

As of January, Matip is free to discuss terms with other clubs and has been linked with a move to the Premier League.

The Reds were keen on getting the defender in a cut-price deal this month, but an injury to Benedikt Howedes put paid to any such hopes.

Last week, though, reports surfaced that the Merseyside giants had put a deal in place for Matip to join the club on a free in July.

"Joel is a very important player for us. I hope he stays," Breitenreiter told SportBild.

"If this is not going to be the case then it would be best for all parties to have clarity about his decision soon."