Liverpool are reportedly plotting a summer swoop for Schalke youngster Malick Thiaw, who has been dubbed as the new ‘Joel Matip’.

As per a report from the Mirror, Liverpool are interested in making a move for 18-year-old Schalke defender Malick Thiaw, who has been likened to current Reds star Joel Matip.

Thiaw joined the Schalke youth setup in 2015 after having spent time at the academies of Fortuna Dusseldorf, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach. The 18-year-old centre-back has risen rapidly through the ranks, making 52 appearances for the U-19 side, which he has also captained on several occasions this term.

Thiaw made his senior debut earlier this month prior to the suspension of Bundesliga due to the Coronavirus pandemic, coming on as a substitute in the 1-1 draw against TSG Hoffenheim.

Despite being only 18 years of age, Thiaw cuts an imposing figure at the back, standing at 6ft 3in. The teenager, primarily a centre-back, can also play as a defensive midfielder. Highly-rated within the club, he has been likened to Liverpool defender Joel Matip, who also came through the Schalke youth setup.

The report from Mirror claims that Liverpool have sent scouts to watch Thiaw in action on multiple occasions this season. The Reds are hoping to launch a move for the 18-year-old at the earliest possible, as they look to capitalize on his contract situation.

The 18-year-old’s current contract with Schalke expires in the summer of 2021. It is reported that a release clause worth £7 million exists in the contract, which has left the Bundesliga outfit vulnerable to overtures from interested parties such as Liverpool.

In order to stave off interest, Schalke are trying to tie Thiaw down with a new contract with an increased release clause. But, negotiations have been held up currently, allowing Liverpool room to make their move.

While Thiaw does not have much experience at the top level, it is believed that Liverpool see him as a solid addition in the longer run, with Jurgen Klopp keen on bringing him into the fold. It remains to be seen if the Premier League champions-elect are able to snap up Thiaw’s signing before the next season.

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