There has been a lot of speculation about the future of Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum in recent months, with the Dutch international’s contract talks with Liverpool seemingly at a standstill.
His contract with the Reds is set to expire at the end of this season, meaning foreign clubs are now free to negotiate with the former Newcastle man with the view to signing him on a Bosman transfer in the summer.
Barcelona look to be amongst the favourites to sign the 30-year-old, who has established himself as a key player in Jurgen Klopp’s side in recent seasons, having made 211 appearances for the club, contributing 21 goals and 16 assists.
Italian football journalist Fabrizio Romano has recently provided an update on the midfielder’s situation at Liverpool.
Speaking to Give Me Sport, he said:
“Talking with people around Gini, I’ve been told that he has been respectful to Liverpool. Before Christmas, he spoke with the club, he received a new bid from Liverpool, like in the first week of December, to try to extend his contract and it was not an amazing bid in Gini’s idea.
“He was expecting something different but he said ‘okay, let’s take some time. I want to speak with my family. I want to decide in the next week, so give me some time to decide and I won’t talk with any other clubs’.
“If he will refuse Liverpool, for sure, Barcelona will be one of the options because as you said, like last summer, they were pushing and pushing to get him.”
Therefore, it seems as if Wijnaldum was not happy with Liverpool’s opening contract offer and unless we see an improved offer from Michael Edwards, it seems as if he could well depart the club on a free transfer this summer.
Wijnaldum will turn 31 this year and perhaps Liverpool are keen to ensure that they don’t offer too much money to a player that may soon be past his best, especially when they have young talent such as Curtis Jones coming through as his potential replacement.
However, the Dutch international has been a key player at Liverpool for so long and has appeared in all of the Reds’ Premier League fixtures so far this season, so he is clearly valued by Jurgen Klopp.
Back in 2019, the German manager was full of praise for Wijnaldum, saying:
“It is just so obvious his importance. It is both directions, small spaces, big spaces, it is hard challenges, fine football, pretty much all of that.
“Is he the perfect midfielder? From the skillset 100 per cent.”
Therefore, despite Wijnaldum’s advancing age and contract demands, Edwards must do all he can to ensure that the midfielder is still with Liverpool next season.