Georginio Wijnaldum: Jurgen Klopp praises midfielder and says contract uncertainty not affecting performances

Gini Wijnaldum's contract ends next summer and the player can speak to foreign clubs from January; player has been linked with move to Barcelona; Klopp: "I would be happy if he would stay here. I am pretty happy with Gini"

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - AUGUST 25: Zlatko Junuzovic of Salzburg passes a ball attacked by Georginio Wijnaldum of Liverpool during the friendly match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and FC Liverpool at Red Bull Arena on August 25, 2020 in Salzburg, Austria. (Photo by Michael Molzar/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)
Image: Georginio Wijnaldum's contract with the Premier League holders is due to expire in 2021

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists Georginio Wijnaldum's ongoing contract issue has had no impact on their relationship, and he remains optimistic about the midfielder's future.

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 but 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.

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.

Diogo Jota is congratulated by Mohamed Salah and Gini Wijnaldum after scoring against Atalanta
Image: Wijnaldum has made 15 appearances across all competitions so far this season

"I cannot really say a lot about that. I would be happy if he would stay here. 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.

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"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.

Wijnaldum
Image: Wijnaldum was previously linked with a move to Ronald Koeman's Barcelona

"As long as nothing is decided everything is possible. I am positive."

Last month Wijnaldum played down reports he was close to a summer exit to Barcelona, but added "we will see what happens" when his deal ends next summer.

Klopp has been here before, of course, as he faced a similar situation with Emre 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.

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"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."

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