Klopp's Liverpool transfer need clear as Gini Wijnaldum 'agrees Barcelona deal'

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Gini Wijnaldum has reportedly agreed a deal to join Barcelona – with Liverpool[1] boss Jurgen Klopp set to have to scour the market for a replacement.

Wijnaldum’s contract expires at the end of June, and he has looked set to depart for some time, having been linked with Barcelona[2] since last summer.

And the midfielder has now agreed a pre-contract deal to join Ronald Koeman’s side, according to The Sunday Times[3].

The move would leave Klopp needing new midfield options, with Wijnaldum having been a crucial part of Liverpool’s Premier League[4] and Champions League success over the past two seasons.

The 30-year-old has been a key player since his £24million signing from Newcastle[5] in 2016, and has played every league game this season as Klopp has juggled a crippling injury crisis.

Georginio Wijnaldum has reportedly agreed to join Barcelona this summer

Earlier this season, Klopp[6] said of Wijnaldum: “I would be happy if he would stay here.

“I am pretty happy with Gini. You can see that when you see most of the line-ups.

“He always played good, that’s why he played so many games. And he has played plenty of positions; different positions.”

And Wijnaldum was equally complimentary when asked if it would be difficult to leave Liverpool.

A departure for Wijnaldum would leave Jurgen Klopp needing to sign a replacement

“Really difficult,” the midfielder said. “If that happens, you would be leaving a team that you really love.

READ  Real Madrid coach window smashed outside Anfield ahead of Liverpool showdown

“A team that you shared a lot of years together, a team where you feel really comfortable. That would be difficult but, on the other side, you would know the situation why you have to leave.

“It always depends on the situation but I would be devastated [if] I didn’t play with this team any more, that’s for sure.”

Liverpool are set for a squad overhaul in the summer transfer window, with Divock Origi, Xherdan Shaqiri and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looking likely to be shipped out[7] of Anfield.

Wijnaldum would be reunited with Ronald Koeman if he were to join Barca

Klopp will no doubt be keen to avoid a repeat of this season’s struggles as he plans ahead for the next campaign.

The Reds boss was left with no senior centre-backs after long-term injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip followed the departure of Dejan Lovren last summer.

With Thiago, Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho and others also suffering spells on the sidelines, the injury crisis seriously undermined Liverpool’s ultimately doomed title challenge.

Their hopes of repeating 2019’s Champions League triumph are still very much alive, with the Reds facing a quarter-final clash against Real Madrid[8] at the Bernabeu on April 6, before the return leg at Anfield eight days later.

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READ  Inter 'eye summer transfer move' for Liverpool striker Origi as Reds ponder sale

Meanwhile, a move for Wijnaldum[10] to Barcelona would see him reunite with Koeman, who is an admirer of the midfielder having managed him with the Dutch national team.

It would also be viewed as a vote of confidence from newly elected president Joan Laporta in Koeman – despite the fact Barca are out of the Champions League[11] and trailing Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid in the La Liga title race.

Barca host Real Sociedad on Sunday looking to close a four-point gap to leaders Atletico.

References

  1. ^ Liverpool (www.mirror.co.uk)
  2. ^ Barcelona (www.mirror.co.uk)
  3. ^ The Sunday Times (www.thetimes.co.uk)
  4. ^ Premier League (www.mirror.co.uk)
  5. ^ Newcastle (www.mirror.co.uk)
  6. ^ Klopp (www.mirror.co.uk)
  7. ^ looking likely to be shipped out (www.mirror.co.uk)
  8. ^ Real Madrid (www.mirror.co.uk)
  9. ^ click this link (www.mirror.co.uk)
  10. ^ Wijnaldum (www.mirror.co.uk)
  11. ^ Champions League (www.mirror.co.uk)

[email protected] (Gareth Bicknell)


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