Barcelona 'confident' of deal for Gini Wijnaldum this summer

Jan 13, 2021, 4:15 PM GMT
Georginio Wijnaldum
Wijnaldum's future remains up in the air | James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman is 'confident' the club can land Liverpool midfielder Gini Wijnaldum on a free transfer this summer.

Wijnaldum, now 30, is out of contract at the end of the 2020/21 season, while his renewal negotiations have been the subject of much concern among Liverpool fans.

As of 1 January, Wijnaldum has been free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club ahead of a summer move. However, 90min understands his preference is to remain at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp has also previously said he would be happy for Wijnaldum to stay, having made the versatile midfielder one of his key dressing room leaders.

That said, Liverpool's hierarchy has so far been unwilling to stump up a new deal that is favourable to the Dutch midfielder.

Since Koeman's arrival at Barcelona last year, the Catalan club has loomed large as the most likely next destination for Wijnaldum should he not get the offer he wants from Anfield.

Mundo Deportivo reports that Koeman is 'confident' of a summer deal for his compatriot, with whom he worked during his spell as Netherlands national team coach.

Georginio Wijnaldum, Ronald Koeman
Wijnaldum and Koeman have worked together for the Netherlands | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

It is also said Mephis Depay (Lyon) and Eric Garcia (Manchester City) are also on Koeman's hit list.

Exactly who Barcelona choose to target, however, may come down to the results of the club's presidential elections in less than two weeks' time.

Nine candidates have now been whittled down to just four, while the remaining contenders (including former president Joan Laporta) have expressed varying visions for Barça's economic and recruitment strategy,

Meanwhile, reports of a mounting debt pushing €1bn may hamper Barcelona when it comes to offering big money, even to signings that don't require a transfer fee.

Wijanldum, who played 47 games for Liverpool in 2019/20 including 37 out of 38 of the club's Premier League campaign, has remained a key figure for the Reds into this season.

Only Andy Robertson and Roberto Firmino have played more Premier League minutes than Wijnaldum for Liverpool so far in 2020/21.