New today that Newcastle want to sign 6’4″ center-back Joel Matip of Schalke, and Joel who was born in Germany to a German mother and a Cameroonian father, and he has played 26 times for Cameroon.
Joel Matip 23 year-old 6’4″ defender
McClaren has a short spell at Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga so he may have watched the big Schalke defender a few times.
The news is in the German magazine Bild, and they are reporting Matip is now Steve McClaren’s top priority and that Newcastle are willing to pay €14M for the 23 year-old, who can also play as a defensive midfielder.
€14M is just a little less that £10M with today’s exchange rate.
Bild are reporting that McClaren has made his own inquiries to his contacts in Germany about the defender, and he has asked various people who know the player various questions.
What’s his best position, does he have a good character, and would he be a good player in the physical Premier League, are three of the questions mentioned.
Matip has been at Schalke since 2000, when he signed on for them as a 9 year-old, and he has only one year to run on his contract, with no signs that he wants to sign an extension.
So this summer (or January) would be a time for the Bundesliga club to cash in on him before he becomes a free agent, although they would still be due some compensation next summer.
Matip made his first team debut for Schalke back in November of 2009 as an 18 year-old against Bayern Munich, and since then he’s appeared 211 times for the club with 18 goals.
Germany were keen for him to play for them but Matip decided he wanted to play for Cameroon, and he made his debut for the African side in a friendly against Italy in March, 2010.
Matip was in the Cameroon squad for both the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa as a 19 year-old, and in last year’s World Cup in Brazil.
He would seem to be a good buy for Newcastle, and we would assume he would assume he’s be brough in as a center-back next season if we can him across the line.
The fact he can also play in defensive midfield is another plus.
What do you think?