The future of Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum continues to be a stark talking point at Anfield.
However, in what will be a boost to the reigning Premier League champions and their hopes of keeping Wijnaldum at the club, Barcelona appear to have moved on.
According to Spanish publication Sport, the Catalans have dropped their interest in the 30-year-old technician, instead deciding to rely on young midfielder Ilaix Moriba.
The news will surely be welcomed by Liverpool, with Wijnaldum having become one of the key names on the Reds’ teamsheet since his 2016 arrival from Newcastle United. In the time since, he has played 225 times for the Merseyside club, scoring 22 goals and providing a further 16 assists.
He has become a player on whom Jurgen Klopp can usually rely, having only missed 11 matches in all competitions through injury or otherwise in his entire career at Anfield.
Wijnaldum’s contributions do not halt there, either, having played a key role in various successful campaigns and winning the UEFA Champions League, Premier League and FIFA Club World Cup – his most memorable contribution ironically being the brace against Barcelona to guide the Reds through to the Champions League final two years ago.
Klopp has continually praised the £36m-rated midfielder, labelling him as “perfect” for Liverpool’s system. He is one of the Reds’ most important players in terms of their passing game, his 92.2% success rate this season surpassed only by Curtis Jones with 92.6%, per WhoScored.
Whether Barcelona dropping their interest in the 70-cap Netherlands international strengthens Liverpool’s hand in negotiating a new contract remains to be seen.
However, they will be hugely keen to now offer a new deal, especially without the Catalans’ competition, and end the constant discussion concerning Wijnaldum’s future beyond the summer transfer window.