Schalke have confirmed their defender Joel Matip will join Liverpool in the summer transfer window.

The 24-year-old - who can play as a central defender or defensive midfielder - had less than six months left on his contract with the Bundesliga outfit. He refused to extend his stay with the German side and will join the Merseyside club on a free transfer after the end of the season.

"Joel Matip has agreed to join Liverpool FC at the end of the season, and will not extend his contract at Schalke 04. The central defender will sign a new deal at the Premier League club," a statement on Schalke's official website read.

IBTimes UK

The Reds manager Jurgen Klopp is a huge admirer of the German-born Cameroon international as he has closely watched him action for Schalke, when he was managing their rivals Borussia Dortmund.

Matip has explained his decision to leave his current employers later in the summer and cited his desire to look out for a new challenge convinced him to join Liverpool.

"I have always said that there is only one reason I would leave Schalke - to experience something completely new," Matip explained.

"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."

On Matip's decision to join the Premier League side, Schalke sporting director Horst Heldt said: "We have held extensive discussions with both the player and his agent since May. It became clear very quickly that certain decisive factors meant we would not be able to influence his decision."