Ronald Koeman has given Barcelona his blessing to pursue a deal for Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, according to reports.
Having won the Premier League last season, Liverpool are unlikely to be letting many of their key players leave. But they face a difficult situation with Wijnaldum.
The Dutch midfielder is in the final year of his contract, meaning he could leave for free next summer. To avoid that, Liverpool must either extend his contract or sell him.
The recent upheaval at Barcelona could have an impact on Wijnaldum’s future. Ronald Koeman is the new manager at Camp Nou, and having worked with Wijnaldum at international level, could look to snatch him away from the Anfield club.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Koeman has now given the green light for Barcelona to try to sign Wijnaldum.
The Catalan newspaper (via Sport Witness) claims Koeman “endorses” Wijnaldum for two main reasons. First of all, he is seen as a complete midfielder, who could fill several roles for the team.
Koeman appreciates Wijnaldum’s work rate, which he saw the benefits of first hand when working with 29-year-old with the Netherlands.
Secondly, the fact that they already have a strong working relationship would help Wijnaldum’s potential transition to the Camp Nou. There, he would also find international teammate Frenkie De Jong, whom he has experience playing alongside.
However, Barcelona must first make some sales before they can think about signings.
KLOPP RESPONDS TO WIJNALDUM SPECULATION
Asked for a comment on Wijnaldum’s situation ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Arsenal in the Community Shield, Jurgen Klopp told a press conference that he would not be talking about the ongoing scenario.
Klopp answered: “That’s an open contract situation, obviously. Otherwise, you would know.
“And that means we don’t talk about that. I never did in press conferences so why should I change that?”