Horst Heldt: Schalke will start contract negotiations with Joel Matip as soon as possible

Newcastle want to sign Joel Matip in January, but Schalke have no intentions to sell.

Newcastle are keen on reviving their interest in Schalke defender Joel Matip in the January transfer window, but Schalke's general manager Horst Heldt has admitted to TMW that a contract extension for the 24-year-old is the only thought in the club’s mind.

He said: “We want to jump-start negotiations for the [contract] renewal of Matip.”

Matip has been one of the best players in the Bundesliga this term, continuing to build on his development from last season.

The Cameroonian international, able to play in centre-back or defensive midfield, has been earning rave reviews for a series of impressive performances, and Newcastle are reportedly keen on bringing him to the Premier League in the next transfer window.

The Daily Mail claim that Matip is being earmarked as a potential January signing, with Steve McClaren still looking to improve his defensive areas after a series of shocking performances at the start of the campaign.

Matip looks to be his priority target, with his youth and relative cheapness making him a classic Newcastle signing.

However, Heldt has admitted that tying Matip down to a new contract is at the forefront of his mind, and it is likely that a new deal will be agreed in the coming weeks, making Newcastle’s January approach for the defender all the more tricky.

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