Liverpool cult hero in talks with Bournemouth as Cherries line up Lloyd Kelly replacement

Bournemouth have held recent discussions with Joel Matip, who is seeking a new club with his Liverpool contract officially expiring on June 30, Anfield Watch understands. 

The Cameroon international endured a serious injury last season, which raised doubts about his prospects of finding a new club. 

But the veteran defender is very much admired by Bournemouth boss Andoni Iraola, who is keen to bring in the experienced central defender to replace the Newcastle-bound Lloyd Kelly, who was also a transfer target for the Reds

There have also been reports that newly-promoted Southampton are interested in the player, however, our sources indicate that this is not true at this time. 

Last month, Liverpool officially announced that the 32-year-old would be leaving the club this summer following eight years of remarkable service. 

Liverpool opt against Matip renewal

The centre back joined the Reds in 2016 on a free transfer from Schalke and would go on to become a cult hero, lifting the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup during his stay on Merseyside, as well as multiple runners-up finishes. 

Liverpool decided against renewing his deal - although former head coach Jurgen Klopp reportedly would have triggered an extension

The German also paid tribute to one of his first Liverpool signings and a player he often relied on to be a rock at the heart of the defence. 

"In all the years that I have been involved in football, I am not sure I have come across too many players who are more loved than Joel Matip. I’m not even sure it would be possible to say anything bad about him," said Klopp. 

Lloyd Kelly Bournemouth

Bournemouth v Swansea City Emirates FA Cup Lloyd Kelly of Bournemouth celebrates scoring during the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth Copyright: xJeremyxLandeyx FIL-19565-0117

Now talks are underway between the Cherries and Matip over a possible move to the south coast club. Matip had been in great form for the Reds up until his season-ending ACL injury against Fulham in early December.

Matip will leave the club alongside midfielder Thiago with the Reds now seeking options in defence and midfield to replace them.

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