LONDON (REUTERS) - Liverpool have saved millions by signing defender Joel Matip on a free transfer from German Bundesliga side Schalke 04, manager Juergen Klopp has said.
The German-born Cameroon international will move to Anfield when his contract expires at the end of the season and Klopp said Schalke could have named their price for the 24-year-old had he stayed under contract.
"He was an easy choice," Klopp was quoted as saying by the British media. "I know in England it is really difficult to sign a player without paying a transfer fee but I thought it cannot be a reason not to take him only because you cannot put a number behind his name.
"If you asked in Germany what other clubs would have paid for him had he still been under contract, you can just pick a number.
"You cannot play in a club like Schalke for six years without having big quality. He can be a really good centre-half in the Premier League."
The manager also confirmed that Liverpool's pursuit of Matip was his initiative and not down to the club's transfer committee.
Matip is Klopp's second signing at Liverpool after Serbian midfielder Marko Grujic agreed to join the Premier League club from Red Star Belgrade at the end of the season.