Wijnaldum latest: Barcelona boss Koeman is a big fan

Barcelona’s new manager Ronald Koeman is reportedly a big admirer of his fellow Dutchman Georginio Wijnaldum.

The Liverpool midfielder has less than a year left on his contract, with talks of a new one yet to take place.

Uncertainty remains over his future, with Liverpool’s continuous links to Bayern’s Thiago another indication that Wijnaldum could well be leaving Anfield in the not-too-distant future.

Sky Sports have noted that Barca’s latest boss Koeman is a big fan of the player, so they could move for him this year.

However, the Catalonians are yet to make a formal approach for the 29-year-old.

The pair worked together with the Dutch national team and have a close relationship.

Before leaving this week, Koeman managed his nation for two years, during which period Wijnaldum was one of his key players.

Wijnaldum loves playing for Liverpool, but he would have a big decision to make if Barcelona were to make a big contract offer.

Do Barca need Wijnaldum?

Wijnaldum famously scored twice in Liverpool’s dramatic comeback victory over Barca in the 2019 Champions League semi-final. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY GOAL.

In July, we at Anfield Central recommended Wijnaldum join Barcelona should he leave Merseyside. Now they seem his most likely destination due to their choice of manager.

Blaugrana are beginning a rebuild after their embarrassing 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League last season.

They recently sacked Quique Setien and hired ex-player Koeman.

Their squad is a mess at the moment, with numerous key players over the age of 30.

Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic and Luis Suarez are simply no longer good enough to be key men for a Champions League-contending side.

Leo Messi has papered over the cracks for a few years now, and even he is now 33.

They have recently replaced 24-year-old Arthur with 30-year-old Miralem Pjanic, increasing the squads average age even further.

Barca have good players with good age profiles in French duo Ousmane Dembele and Samuel Umtiti, but neither man can get on the field regularly due to injury woes.

Finally, the ridiculous decision to spend over €100 million on Antoine Griezmann has predictably not gone according to plan. There is little chance of any team stumping up enough cash to justify letting him go, so he will have to stay at the club.

Politics have ruined the club, with their board giving a good demonstration of exactly how not to build a squad.

It has taken three consecutive embarrassing Champions League exits for them to realise this.

Yes, Gini Wijnaldum will be 30 in November.

But he is a leader with an outstanding mentality – something Barcelona are dearly lacking, despite their years of experience.

If they can move on Vidal and Rakitic, signing Gini Wijnaldum for €20-25 million would make a lot of sense.

The only problem is they would need a younger midfielder too and have already stupidly added Pjanic to the ranks.

If they can drum up funds, signing Wijnaldum, plus someone like Houssem Aouar or Fabian Ruiz, would be very good business.

Should Liverpool let him go?

Could Gini Wijnaldum’s contract stand-off signal a move away this summer? ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY WRALSPORTSFAN.COM.

As mentioned, Wijnaldum has entered the final year of his Liverpool contract.

The Reds will have to sell him this transfer window or risk losing him for free next summer.

It is quite strange that an efficient club like Liverpool would let the player into the final year of his deal. So perhaps he will leave the club this year.

Of course, Jurgen Klopp would love to keep such a key man. Yet perhaps he would sacrifice him if it meant getting a player of Thiago’s calibre.

Naby Keita looks to be over the worst of his injury troubles too. This could mean that Wijnaldum is no longer a guaranteed starter.

Gini Wijnaldum should be remembered as a Liverpool legend. But it makes more sense to sell him now than it does to lose him for free next summer.

Much like Thiago, at 29-years-old Wijnaldum may like a new challenge.

Where better to find this than to be a part of a rebuild at one of football’s biggest clubs.


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