Liverpool transfer twist… Selling club hope Spurs & Everton come in for £27m ace

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is reluctant to commit to a deal with Liverpool for midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum as he hopes Everton and Spurs will come in, creating a bidding war for him, according to reports from De Telegraaf.

The Netherlands international has emerged as a serious target for the Reds over the past few days, with rumours having suggested that a deal is imminent.

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However, reports from the player’s homeland suggest that things are not as straightforward as they seem, with Newcastle’s owner, Ashley, keen to hold off for as long as possible in the hope that Everton and Spurs enter the bidding and drive up the fee the Tyneside club receive.

The Premier League pair are both said to be keen on the player, with Ronald Koeman interested in linking up with his compatriot at Goodison Park and Mauricio Pochettino, although deterred by his valuation, also interested.

As well as the English duo, there is interest from China, although Wijnaldum, valued at £27m by his employers, is understood to have no interest in relocating to the Far East.

The 25-year-old himself is thought to be open to the idea of working under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, even though he will face serious competition for game time at Anfield.

Wijnaldum netted an impressive 11 goals as Newcastle were relegated last season – although four scored at home to Norwich somewhat skew the figures – and the Magpies are seemingly keen to make a profit on the man they signed for £14.5m just a year ago.

Georginio Wijnaldum