Georginio Wijnaldum has admitted it would be ‘really difficult’ to leave Liverpool if is unable to agree a new contract at Anfield before his deal expires in June, while he has also said it would leave him ‘devastated’ to no longer be part of the team.
Wijnaldum is currently on course to become a free agent in the summer and previous talks about extending his deal have failed to yield an agreement.
The 30-year-old Netherlands international has been an invaluable member of the Liverpool side built by Jurgen Klopp since 2016, winning the Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup and Premier League, while never playing fewer than 42 games in any of his four full seasons.
As of early January, it was thought that contract talks were no longer ongoing. Wijnaldum is not itching to to leave and is still conducting himself in a professional manner, while Liverpool are not desperate to offer a ‘too goo to refuse’ contract out of a fear of losing him.
“There is no news as it is right now. I would like to come with news [but] all I can say is I'm really happy with the club, with the team, staff and the fans for who I play. It is not that I'm not happy or that I have to leave or something like that,” he is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail this week.
“It is not as easy as everyone thinks it is to make some decisions about your future, you have to think about everything and then first negotiate with the clubs.
“It is so difficult and [that] is why it takes so long. Also, I think the situation we're in right now means it is not the most important thing,” he added, referring to Liverpool’s slump in form.
“[It is] really difficult [to leave] because if that happens you leave a team who you really love, a team you share a lot of years together and where you feel really comfortable.
“It will be difficult but you don't know the situation, why you have to leave it always depends on the situation. But I would be devastated that I don't play with this team anymore, that is for sure.”
Wijnaldum was heavily linked with Barcelona last summer when he had a year left on his contract, but a bid was never forthcoming given the Spanish club’s challenging financial position. The player himself admitted once the season started there had been nothing ‘concrete’ from Camp Nou.
Whether a move to Barcelona would still be on the table remains to be seen. The financial position has become even tougher over the past year, while there is every chance that former Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman won’t be in charge next season under a new president.