Liverpool: Klopp delighted with timely win at Man Utd
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Liverpool midfielder Gini Wijnaldum’s future could be up in the air once more following developments in Barcelona. Wijnaldum is out of contract with Liverpool next month and has been strongly linked with a free transfer to Barca, but that move has now been cast into doubt.
Speculation over the Dutch international’s future has been rife for months, with numerous reports emerging linking him with Barca.
With his contract set to expire on June 30, Wijnaldum has been free to negotiate with other clubs since January.
The Sunday Times reported in March that he had signed a pre-contract agreement with Barcelona to become Joan Laporta’s first signing in his second spell as club president.
However, the move has never been made official, leaving Liverpool fans in the dark over the future of the 30-year-old midfielder.
Despite uncertainty over his future on Merseyside, Wijnaldum has remained a key player for Jurgen Klopp’s side, making 48 appearances across all competitions this season.
The potential move to Barcelona has been driven by manager Ronald Koeman, who knows Wijnaldum from his spell in charge of the Netherlands between 2018 and 2020.
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Koeman has been the driving force behind Barca’s reported interest in Wijnaldum and fellow Dutch international Memphis Depay, who is soon to be out of contract at Lyon.
Yet those moves are now in doubt, with SPORT reporting that Koeman’s future at Barcelona is far from certain following a run of poor results.
Barcelona have fallen away in the title race in recent weeks, losing to Granada and drawing consecutive matches against Atletico Madrid and Levante.
With two games left in La Liga, they are third, four points behind leaders Atletico after Tuesday’s damaging 3-3 draw against Levante.
That result prompted Laporta to call Koeman into a meeting on Thursday night, with SPORT reporting that the Barca president has been left ‘really angry’ by the result.
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Although the meeting was amicable, the Barcelona-based newspaper says Koeman’s future is ‘one of the great unknowns at the club, along with Lionel Messi’s contract renewal’.
The former Southampton and Everton boss is respected at the club due to his distinguished playing career, but Laporta ‘doesn’t feel like he is his coach’.
Koeman has another year left on his contract and that is another consideration for cash-strapped Barca, who would have to pay off his final year if they were to dismiss him.
Like most European sides, Barcelona have been heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and will need to be frugal while trying to rebuild the squad this summer.
As well as Wijnaldum and Depay, the Catalan giants are reportedly close to agreeing a two-year deal with Sergio Aguero, while fellow Manchester City player Eric Garcia is also set to move to the club.
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