Barcelona power vacuum to aid Liverpool hopes of keeping top star

Date published: Monday 4th January 2021 6:32 - Neil Foster

Ronald Koeman TEAMtalk

Barcelona will struggle to sign Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum this month due to the club’s presidency election, according to a Spanish football expert.

Wijnaldum, 30, has been a workhorse of the Reds side since signing from Newcastle United in July 2016. He saw the most game time of any Anfield midfielder last term as Liverpool won their first Premier League title.

There is no doubting the Netherlands international’s importance to the champions. However, he will fall out of contract in the summer and is now free to talk to overseas clubs.

Barcelona were linked last summer, with rumours that Ronald Koeman is also keen to bring his compatriot to the Nou Camp. But, with presidential elections scheduled for later this month, it may be put on the backburner.

Finances will play a part and it could be that the coffers are not opened until next summer. Spanish football expert Alvaro Montero feels so, despite an obvious need for defensive reinforcements.

“Ronald Koeman wants Wijnaldum but he also wants Eric Garcia, the defender from Manchester City – there’s an agreement,” he told Sky Sports.

“They’ve got more problems in that part because with [Gerard] Pique injured, with [Clement] Lenglet in that situation and [Samuel] Umtiti also injured for many, many weeks, they need a player like Eric Garcia.

“If not in January, we’ve said for some time here that for sure by next summer.”

Wijnaldum and Reds not on same page

Wijnaldum has stated his preference is to remain on Merseyside. But there is a sizeable gap between the contract he wants and what Liverpool are prepared to offer.

The impasse shows no signs of abating at present and there is a worry that the Dutchman might leave. Uncertainty over Barca’s finances and who might be in control may well be a saving grace.

It would give the Premier League table-toppers some breathing space to come to an agreement.  Montero hinted that a move for the talented schemer is possible this month but the smart money is on next summer.

“With Wijnaldum, the main problem is the economy situation at Barcelona due to this coronavirus crisis,” he added. “So when the new president arrived, lets say for example Laporta on January 24th, if he asked Koeman if he wants Wijnaldum, maybe they will try it.

“But I think the economy situation is going to make this very, very difficult for Barcelona.”

READ MORE: Charlton keen on Liverpool winger

 

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