Heldt said: “It’s always annoying when a player with quality leaves us. We tried for a long time to stop him leaving us but in the end, Joel Matip decided he wants to do something else and to go in a different direction. In this case, money didn’t play a role and we just have to accept it. If Schalke played in the Premeir League, he would have stayed.”
Heldt has admitted that it was the Premier League which was the defining factor in Matip’s decision to sign a pre-contract with Liverpool.
The GM went as far as to say that he would have stayed with Schalke if they were a Premier League club, as the player wanted to head into a different direction from his current career.
Matip, 24, is considered one of the best centre-backs in the entire Bundesliga, making 249 appearances for Schalke since graduating from their youth academy.
A Cameroonian international, he has established himself as a top level player, who is consistent in the back-line, but who also chips in with his fair share of goals.
The Reds agreed a deal with Matip in the January transfer window, with the defender set to head to Anfield in the summer.
His contract is expiring at the end of this season, and after spending his entire career with Schalke, the 24-year-old is ready to take the next step in his career.