Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insists Georginio Wijnaldum’s ongoing contract issue has had no impact on their relationship, but has likened the situation to the one of Emre Can who left in similar circumstances.
The Holland international is out of contract next summer, which means he can begin negotiating with overseas clubs from January 1, and talks about extending his stay at Anfield have hit an impasse despite Klopp clearly wanting him to stay.
Wijnaldum was heavily linked with Barcelona in the last transfer window. However there will be plenty of other clubs interested in a player who has been a key part of Liverpool’s success over the last three years.
Klopp though has once again made it clear to the club’s owners Fenway Sports Group about his feelings for Wijnaldum. And he would no doubt love for them to offer him a bumper deal to stay.
He made his 201st appearance – only 28 of which were as a substitute – in just over four seasons in Wednesday’s Champions League defeat to Atalanta.
“I cannot really say a lot about that. I would be happy if he would stay here and I am pretty happy with Gini as you can see when you look at most of the line-ups,” said Klopp ahead of the trip to Brighton.
“He played always good, that’s why he’s played the amount of games he has. I cannot remember a lot of bad games to be honest.
“He played for us in plenty of different positions and he is in a good moment thank God. Long may it continue.
“I don’t know how many games he’s played since I’ve been here, it’s good and there’s nothing else to say about it.
“As long as nothing is decided everything is possible. I am positive.”
Klopp has been here before, of course, as he faced a similar situation with mre Can in 2017-18.
The Germany international made 38 appearances during that campaign but declined the offer of a new contract and left for Juventus on a free contract in the summer.
Klopp’s experience of that means his opinion of Wijnaldum will not change.
“It is no problem. We’ve had situations like this before – with Emre Can for example,” he added.
“He played and he gave his absolute everything until the last day of his contract and Gini will do the same, no doubt about that.
“No harm to our relationship forever. Gini is one of the best people I have ever met and he is one of the best players I’ve ever trained and he is an outstanding person so there is no issue, no issue at all.
“We are professionals. Our relationship didn’t change at all over the years – it improved obviously.
“We’ve won one or two things together, we know each other better. I’m interested in his life, he’s interested in my life, that is how it is, mine is not so spectacular really – but that is the truth.”
Speaking to Dutch source Het Parool, though, he said: “I can’t say anything about that. Just ask Liverpool those questions. Don’t they answer?
“I cannot say anything about it, including whether or not there is talk of a new contract between me and Liverpool. Sorry.”