Wijnaldum has played 27 times in all competitions so far this season and has started all but one of the club’s Premier League games just past the halfway stage of the campaign. It underlines his crucial role in Jurgen Klopp’s plans, but his current contract has just 18 months left to run.
As things stand, Wijnaldum, a £25m signing from Newcastle in 2016, is out of contract at the end of next season – the 2020/21 campaign – by which time he will be nearing his 31st birthday.
A report The Athletic notes interest from Italy and Spain, but suggests that both Liverpool and Wijnaldum are ‘comfortable’ with the current situation and the various options available.
It is said Liverpool would be ‘happy’ for Wijnaldum to sign a new deal that extends his stay beyond 2021, but also ‘content’ if he were to let his contract run down and leave as a free agent in 18 months’ time. That scenario would see Liverpool miss out on a transfer fee, but the service and value the player has given since his arrival means it is not seen as a disaster.
The only option that seems unlikely – despite The Athletic’s surprisingly misleading title: ‘Wijnaldum could leave Liverpool at end of the season’ – is a sale at the end of this campaign.
That is because while the Reds might be okay letting him go for free in 2021, the report quite clearly explains they don’t want to lose him any sooner than they have to and would demand a ‘high fee’ if someone were show interest in buying him now.
According to Transfermarkt, Wijnaldum’s current market value is £45m, a career high to date.