The 24-year-old defender had been touted as a possible target for the Merseyside outfit in the January transfer window but a move failed to materialise.
I think there was no chance for another Bundesliga club in this moment, but Liverpool was the right name and the right club
The Cameroon international is set to join the Merseyside outfit on a free transfer upon the conclusion of his current contract with the Bundesliga side.
Speaking to Liverpool’s website following the announcement of their deal to sign Matip, Klopp explained why he is a big fan of the Schalke man.
Klopp said: “I am very happy. Everybody who knows him would have been interested. Maybe he’s not the most famous player in England, but he’s 24 and has played about 200 Bundesliga games for Schalke.
“He is a top-class centre-half, very young but experienced. You don’t have that too often. To be honest, when I had my break I thought for the next club, I should think about Joel, if there was a need.
“He never played for my team, he did the extreme opposite – he played for their biggest opponent! Maybe that says a lot about his quality. Even when he played for the team you cannot love as Dortmund manager, you see his quality. Then that’s real quality.”
Klopp added: “The chance was there and Joel wanted to do something different. He is and was really close to his club; it’s normal, he played there since he was a youth player. I think there was no chance for another Bundesliga club in this moment, but Liverpool was the right name and the right club.
“Maybe it was a little advantage that I know him and he knows me. He’s still a young player and for a young player, it could help to make the decision when there’s a manager from your home country.
“It’s a good situation, hopefully a win-win. In this moment, it looks like this. Now he has to stay healthy and after the summer break we can start working together.”
The new Liverpool signing has scored three goals and has made one assist in 21 Bundesliga games so far this season.
The African star has also netted one goal in three Europa League games in the current campaign.
Cameroon international Matip came through the youth system at Schalke and has made 27 appearances for his national side.
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