Georginio Wijnaldum had “everything agreed” to leave Liverpool for Barcelona over the summer, according to a report.
There was much speculation about Wijnaldum’s future during the last transfer window. The midfielder is now in the final year of his contract at Anfield.
Therefore, there were rumours that he could leave, in order for Liverpool to avoid losing him for nothing next summer. Barcelona were heavily linked.
Wijnaldum was a key player for the Netherlands under Ronald Koeman, who has since taken charge of Barcelona. Koeman was keen to be reunited with the midfielder at club level.
Liverpool are keen to get Wijnaldum to commit to a new contract, but he is yet to accept their offer. Now, reports in Spain have suggested just how much he was considering leaving the club in the summer.
According to Mundo Deportivo (via Sport Witness), Wijnaldum was “very close” to joining Barcelona. He had a full agreement with the La Liga club over personal terms.
However, the hold-up was in the negotiations between the two clubs. There were two major factors that prevented Barcelona and Liverpool agreeing a deal.
First, Barcelona’s priority was to sign a new striker, rather than a midfielder. They allowed Luis Suarez to leave, so needed a replacement.
Ultimately, the only forward they brought in was 20-year-old Francisco Trincao from Braga. However, their search for a striker remained their main focus.
With their need to strengthen other positions in mind, Barcelona were also not willing to meet the asking price for Wijnaldum. They felt that Liverpool’s €30m asking price was too high for a player in the last year of his contract.
Three suitors for Wijnaldum
Barcelona can sign Wijnaldum for free next summer if he fails to agree fresh terms with Liverpool. Indeed, Koeman has confirmed their interest has not faded.
As long as Koeman is still in charge, Wijnaldum will remain a top target at Camp Nou. But Barcelona are not the only suitors for the 30-year-old.
Reports have named Inter Milan as another contender for the former Newcastle midfielder, while Barca’s rivals Real Madrid have also been suggested as a potential suitor.