Barcelona will put the brakes on a move for Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum if they sack Ronald Koeman this summer, according to a report.
Wijnaldum has been a target for Barcelona ever since they appointed Koeman as their head coach last year. The pair worked together with the Netherlands national team and wanted to reunite at club level. A deal didn’t materialise last year but with the midfielder approaching the end of his contract, he remains on Barca’s agenda.
The La Liga giants do not have the funds to pursue major deals, so signing someone like Wijnaldum on a free transfer would be a smart move. The connection with Koeman makes it an even more appealing option.
At one point, it seemed like the move was a foregone conclusion. But now, according to Football Insider, it is on the brink of collapse.
Koeman is under serious scrutiny after just one year in the Camp Nou hotseat. Barcelona will finish no higher than third in La Liga this season, their lowest placing since 2007-08.
Therefore, there is a genuine chance that Koeman will be sacked. And if that happens, Barcelona will end their pursuit of Wijnaldum.
It would be a major setback for the 30-year-old, who had outlined Barca as his dream destination. Instead, he will have to consider other options.
The report adds that talks over a new contract with Liverpool are still at a stalemate despite his prominent role in the team. It seems more and more likely that he will be leaving in the summer.
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Inter Milan and Bayern Munich have been suggested as other exit routes for Wijnaldum to take. It seems his agent is behind the rumours surrounding the latter.
Most recently, Roma emerged as contenders for his signature under the instruction of Jose Mourinho.
Contract talks planned for another Liverpool star
While his next destination remains unclear, it seems extremely likely that Wijnaldum won’t be playing for Liverpool again next season.
They will thus be keen to avoid a similar scenario with more of their players in future. Many of their key men have contracts expiring in 2023, which they will look to resolve.
There is no immediate rush to extend those contracts, but the Wijnaldum situation shows they need to plan ahead.
With that in mind, they have reportedly identified two players to offer extensions to first – including one of Wijnaldum’s midfield teammates.