​Liverpool have triggered their option to automatically extend defender Joel Matip's contract by another year.

The four-year deal which Matip signed upon arriving at Anfield was due to expire next summer, so Liverpool have acted to ensure he cannot walk away for free at the end of the season.

Joel Matip

The news was confirmed by ​The Athletic, so Matip's deal has now been extended until 2021. However, ​Liverpool are eager to offer him fresh terms in the near future.

​James Milner's contract is thought to be Liverpool's top priority at the minute. The versatile midfielder will be out of contract at the end of the season and, unlike Matip, there is no option for Liverpool to automatically extend it.

He currently earns around £120,000-a-week, and Liverpool are hesitant to offer such wages to a player who will be 34 in January. Having said that, they remain fully committed to Milner and they are determined to thrash out a deal.

Once that is sorted, club officials will switch their attention to other first-team stars who need new contracts. Matip is one of those in line for a new deal, whilst ​Georginio Wijnaldum is also thought to be set for contract talks.

The Dutchman's current deal also expires in 2021, so Liverpool want to get it sorted out as soon as possible, although they recognise that Milner's contract is a more pressing concern at the minute.

James Milner

As for Matip, Liverpool are keen to reward the Cameroon international for his impressive start to the season. The 28-year-old has established himself as one of Jurgen Klopp's first-choice defenders - alongside Virgil van Dijk - and he has started their last three ​Premier League matches.

In total, he has made 103 appearances for the Reds since joining on a free transfer from ​Schalke. Matip has often rotated with the likes of Joe Gomez and ​Dejan Lovren, but now appears to have made the starting position his own.