Georginio Wijnaldum might be on international duty with Holland but he was not escaping talk of transfers on Tuesday night.
The Liverpool midfielder was put in front of the press ahead of the Netherlands’ clash with Mexico this week, and asked about the 7-2 defeat to Aston Villa and his own future.
Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman is a strong admirer of his fellow Dutchman. Koeman was said to have made Wijnaldum a priority signing as part of his rebuild at the Camp Nou.
Wijnaldum, who is out of contract at Anfield next summer, was asked about the speculation linking him with Barca.
“I don’t think it was that serious,” Wijnaldum said with a smile. “Otherwise you would have read a bit more, or more would have happened.
“There was nothing precise. The way it looks now, I will stay in Liverpool.
“My contract is valid for another 10 months and that can change. You never know in football. We will see what happens.”
Contract talks between the club and Wijnaldum reportedly fell through earlier this year.
The 29-year-old’s future remains unclear with suggestions that Jurgen Klopp last month managed to persuade Wijnaldum to stay despite the arrival of Thiago Alcantara.
Sky Sports reported that Klopp’s intervention had paid dividends with the former Newcastle man intent on seeing out his contract.
Klopp cut a relaxed figure when asked for an update on the situation last month, stating that everything was “absolutely fine.”
“Since Gini is here I’ve had 500 talks with him,” Klopp said. “Nothing else to say about that. That is all really.”
When pushed for further comment regarding the Dutchman, Klopp added: “All good with Gini? Yes. Absolutely fine about the future as far as we are involved in that. All good for the moment.
“Between me, Gini and the club, it is all completely fine. Apart from anything to announce to [the media].”
7-2 defeat ‘painful’
Liverpool were hammered 7-2 by Aston Villa on Sunday, with Klopp saying his side “lost the plot”, while Andy Robertson described is as “embarrassing”.
Wijnaldum played the full 90 minutes and described the mauling as “painful”.
“We have to go on with that,” he said. “Of course, it was a painful experience that we are not accustomed to in Liverpool.
“But it happened and we have to learn from it. Now I am here and hopefully we will achieve good results and simply go on with it.”