Georginio Wijnaldum is yet to make a decision over his Liverpool future, claims Fabrizio Romano – but was not convinced by their last offer.
Wijnaldum is into the final six months of his contract and can sign a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs.
Indeed, he has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona. Such a transfer would allow him to reunite with former Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman.
However, Liverpool are still giving him plenty of gametime and hope to convince him to stay. He has been with them since 2016 and has formed a key part of Jurgen Klopp’s plans.
Despite this, Wijnaldum is apparently unsure about Liverpool’s project for the future. With that in mind, he is waiting for a better offer from the club – or another side.
“I’m told that in the last few weeks the situation has gotten really, really complicated with Gini Wijnaldum,” transfer expert Romano told Anfield Watch.
“The last offer from Liverpool was in December and the player wasn’t happy with it, so he’s seriously considering his future at the moment.
“He’s really respectful of the club and of the fanbase and the people around the club. He loves Liverpool which is why he’s not going to sign for a new club until he’s told Liverpool what he’s going to do.
“He’s not made his final decision yet, but it’s really, really complicated, so I think that’s why Liverpool are planning to be ready in the summer in case he doesn’t sign a new deal.
“He’s not convinced about the economical part but also about what the project is going to be in the future and what his personal life and family want. It is really difficult at the moment, but I think in February we will have a decision.”
Romano thinks Wijnaldum should stay at Liverpool, though. The Italian reporter believes the midfielder would have already signed up if it wasn’t for the pandemic.
“I love Wijnaldum, he’s a fantastic player who has everything. He’s a good runner, he’s a fighter, he has good quality, he scores goals and he’s a winner,” Romano added.
“They need to try and convince him to stay but I’m also respectful of Liverpool’s situation. Because we have to understand in this moment clubs are losing a lot of money which is an issue in terms of salaries and what they can offer.
“I’m sure if we weren’t in this situation with the pandemic we wouldn’t have this situation with Wijnaldum and he would have signed by now, because they would have made a different offer.
“In this moment it’s difficult to make a contract bid and a player might be tempted to move from one club to another as a free agent. When you move as a free agent you are receiving commission for your agent and for yourself and a new salary.
“But I’d love to see him stay with Liverpool because he’s perfect for Klopp and his football too. And when you move to Barcelona with a new president, a new team, you just don’t know how you’re going to do.”
Two players on replacement shortlist
If Wijnaldum does not stay, though, Liverpool will have a void to fill in midfield. A number of players will undoubtedly be linked.
In fact, there are already some ideas of who the champions could target. One of the main names on their wish-list is Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma.
Romano says Liverpool are scouting him, as well as Lille midfielder Renato Sanches. However, they have made no offers yet and that is unlikely to change until the summer.
“We’re talking about players being scouted rather than talks at the moment,” Romano continued.
“Bissouma has been scouted and is appreciated as a player but I’ll mention Renato Sanches as well.
“There were rumours about Renato signing in January. But that was never going to happen because Liverpool are not signing anyone this month.
“But, if Wijnaldum leaves in the summer, then Sanches could be a good opportunity for Liverpool. They are looking at him as well as Bissouma because Lille need money.
“They will need to sell players next summer – and in my opinion, Renato Sanches could be a great opportunity and he’s been scouted too.
“Liverpool have a list and they’ll decide in April who they want to go for.”