Georginio Wijnaldum: Liverpool midfielder to decide on new deal as Barcelona wait

Georginio Wijnaldum was linked with summer move to Barcelona to reunite with former Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman; Liverpool midfielder, out of contract in the summer, has been offered new Anfield deal but can talk with foreign clubs from January 1

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 27: Georginio Wijnaldum of Liverpool runs with the ball during the Premier League match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield on December 27, 2020 in Liverpool, England. A limited number of fans (2000) are welcomed back to stadiums to watch elite football across England. This was following easing of restrictions on spectators in tiers one and two areas only. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images) 1:13
Spanish football expert Alvaro Montero says financial issues at Barcelona could complicate their efforts to sign Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.

Georginio Wijnaldum will decide this week whether to sign a new Liverpool contract as Ronald Koeman remains hopeful of persuading the midfielder to join him at Barcelona.

The 30-year-old could become a free agent when his Anfield deal runs out in June, and he can talk with foreign clubs and sign a pre-contract agreement when the January transfer window opens on Friday.

Koeman was keen on bringing Wijnaldum to Barcelona when he joined in the summer, but talks over a move never materialised.

The two have a close relationship having worked together during Koeman's tenure as Netherlands boss, with Wijnaldum playing a pivotal role as the Oranje reached the Nations League final in 2019.

The player is pondering a new contract offer at Liverpool and told the club he will give them his answer in the next few days - before any potential decision to open talks with other clubs.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been pushing for the Netherlands international to stay but said last month that his ongoing contract issue has had no impact on their relationship, and he remains optimistic about the midfielder's future.

Ronald Koeman and Gini Wijnaldum
Image: Ronald Koeman and Wijnaldum developed a close relationship during the manager's time as Netherlands boss

"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.

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"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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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's draw with West Brom in the Premier League.

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

The Reds strengthened their midfield in the summer, signing Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich for £25m, providing competition for the likes of Wijnaldum.

The Dutchman originally signed for Liverpool from Newcastle in a £25m deal in 2016 and has scored 20 goals in 208 appearances for the club, becoming a Premier League and Champions League winner at Anfield.

'Barca need to sell before they can buy'

Spanish football expert Alvaro Montero told Sky Sports News:

Wijnaldum is a very well known player here in Spain. But there's a huge problem - Barcelona president [Carles] Tusquets recognised himself yesterday, such as Leo Messi said, that Barcelona is in a very difficult economical situation.

Of course, Ronald Koeman wants Wijnaldum, he also wants Memphis Depay from Olympique Lyonnais and Eric Garcia from Manchester City, but let's see how they can pay them.

A few weeks ago Tusquets recognised that there will be problems for Barca players to earn their wages in January, so it's a difficult situation and I guess that if Barcelona want to buy some players, they should sell before next summer, so it's going to be a difficult market for Barcelona in June, July and August.

'Liverpool will want Wijnaldum issue sorted in January'

ESPN senior football analyst Gabriele Marcotti told Sky Sports' Transfer Talk podcast:

"How often have we seen players frozen out as their contract runs out at clubs? But it's just not happening with Wijnaldum at Liverpool. Klopp continues to pick him, he scored a brilliant goal against Wolves, and there's a lot of respect from Klopp to Wijnaldum and the situation he finds himself in.

"Wijnaldum is 30 years old now, and I think Klopp recognises that his next contract is likely to be the biggest of his career, be it at Liverpool or elsewhere. I think Liverpool will want this sorted next month.

"Does he want to go to Barcelona when the management situation at the Nou Camp is so brittle? Is Ronald Koeman going to last the season, and if Koeman is the reason he is wanted at Barcelona, does that impact things?"

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