Barcelona may be forced to wait until mid-July to finally secure the signing of Georginio Wijnaldum after another hurdle was placed in their path.
Wijnaldum, who has left Liverpool after five years, has long since been linked with the La Liga giants. His former Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman is keen to reunite with him at the Camp Nou. And despite claims of interest from Bayern Munich, he is expected to make the move to Spain.
Indeed, it has even been claimed that the deal will finalised in the coming days after a verbal agreement was reached.
But new developments mean that may not be possible. That’s after Holland manager Frank de Boer placed a ban on players in his squad completing medicals for transfers.
As reported by the Daily Express, de Boer said: “Those players will have to be patient until after the tournament.”
It is understandable for de Boer to ask for full focus to be placed on the EUROs. His side play their first group game in just 13 days when they take on Ukraine in Amsterdam. Meetings with Austria and North Macedonia follow.
But it does mean a number of players, including Wijnaldum, will have to wait to resolve their futures. Barcelona staff had hoped to travel to the Netherlands’ training camp to carry out the tests.
The rule will also impact Memphis Depay, who could be joining Wijnaldum at Barcelona.
Depending on how far ‘Ons Oranje’ progress, those deals could be delayed for over six weeks. The final of the EUROs takes place on Sunday 11th July.
Liverpool exit cause ‘will come out’
Wijnaldum has also stated the real reasons behind his departure from Liverpool will be revealed eventually.
The midfielder played his last game for the Reds in the 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace on 23rd May. With his contract set to expire at the end of June and an extension unable to be agreed, that win brought his time at Anfield to end.
It was thought that an inability to agree on contract length and wages meant a new deal was not agreed. But Wijnaldum has hinted that there is more to it than that.
“I am still busy saying goodbye to Liverpool,” he said. “I am still emotional because I got a goodbye that not many players got before me.
“Why I left, you will hear again. It will come out. The club also has to do with the fact that I am gone.”
Wijnaldum had been on Merseyside since 2016 after joining from Newcastle. He played 237 games in that time, scoring 22 goals. That, of course, included a crucial double against Barcelona in the 2019 Champions League semi-final.
He started in the final as Jurgen Klopp’s side went on to win the tournament, while he was also a key figure in the club’s Premier League title success in 2019/20.