The 30-year-old’s contract expires in the summer and as thing stands, he is not going to sign a new deal. This will end Wijnaldum’s five-year spell at the club, having joined the club in 2016 from Newcastle United. In that time, he became an integral part of Jurgen Klopp’s team which won the Premier League, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, and the Club World Cup.
He looks certain to join La Liga giants Barcelona for free in the summer, with the Spanish club very keen to sign him. He will join his compatriot and Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are drawing up Wijnaldum’s replacements. The likes of Rodrigo De Paul and Houssem Auoar top of their six-man shortlist.
Wijnaldum certain to join Barcelona
Wijnaldum will most likely join Barcelona in the summer, with various reports suggesting he has agreed on a pre-contract with the Catalans. He will reunite with his former national team coach Ronald Koeman.
Liverpool are still hopeful that they will retain the services of the midfielder. The Reds have offered a three-year extension with the same salary. But Wijnaldum is demanding an annual salary of 8 million euros, something the club is very reluctant to agree on.
Despite their financial troubles, Barcelona are happy to pay the salary demanded by Wijnaldum, as there is no signing fee involved in the deal. But still, this might prove to be another mistake by the Blaugranas.
They signed Miralen Pjanic was huge money last summer and he has barely featured for them this season. They also have Frenkie de Jong and talented La Masia graduates like Riqui Puig and Ilaix Moriba at their disposal. Signing Wijnaldum makes no sense.
Liverpool line up Wijnaldum replacements
The Reds are already planning life without their midfield general Gini Wijnaldum. According to Daily Star, they have drawn a six-man shortlist which includes the likes of Jude Bellingham, Florian Neuhaus, Yves Bissouma, Sander Berge, and two top targets in Houssem Aouar and Rodrigo De Paul.
Aouar is enjoying another fine campaign with Lyon. The 22-year-old almost joined Liverpool’s Premier League rivals Arsenal last summer. But the Gunners were unable to reach an agreement with the French club. This season, Aouar has scored five and assisted three goals in just 20 starts in the league, as Lyon fight for the Ligue 1 title. Valued at just £30 million, Aouar is an able replacement for Wijnaldum.
Meanwhile, De Paul is also valued at the same price as Aouar. The Argentine has been the standout midfielder in Serie A this season, with eight goals and two seven assists in 31 games to his name. He looks certain to leave Udinese this season, with the club languishing in mid-table. He is four years older than Aouar but is more technically sound than the Frenchman.
Either Aouar or De Paul would be an immediate upgrade on Wijnaldum. Liverpool should try to offload Wijnaldum and sign either of the two superstars this summer.