Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has revealed there was never a ‘concrete’ offer for him to leave Anfield before the transfer window closed despite heavily speculation linking him with Barcelona.
Wijnaldum is the only regular starter in the Liverpool squad not tied down to a long-term contract and his expiring deal, which is up in June 2021, had brought the increasing possibility he could leave.
But while it seemed as though Wijnaldum could leave, especially after the arrival of Thiago Alcantara to offset that £25m deal, the Dutchman insists a move to Camp Nou was never close, believing that Barcelona were not actually that serious about it in the end.
“I don’t think [Barcelona interest] was that serious, otherwise you would have read a bit more, or more would have happened,” Wijnaldum is quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror.
Perhaps, crucially, the 29-year-old explained that the situation never reached a point where he had to then make a decision about whether he would stay or go.
“There was nothing concrete. I didn’t have to think about it. I will stay [at Liverpool] it looks like now. My contract will run for another 10 months,” he explained.
“It could still change, of course you never know that in football. So we'll see.”
At one time, Wijnaldum was rumoured to have agreed personal terms with Barcelona, but the Catalan club, who are famously strapped for cash, seemingly never actually formalised their interest with Liverpool by making an official offer.
It was suggested that Barcelona had no intention of paying more than €15m up front and not more than €20m even after add-ons were taken into account. Ultimately, their finances wouldn’t allow it and a late deal for Memphis Depay is thought to have fallen through because they were unable to raise the cash when Ousmane Dembele rejected the conditions of a move to Manchester United.
As things stand, Wijnaldum is on course to become a free agent and could leave Liverpool for nothing next summer. An expiring contract also means he is free to discuss his future with other clubs as of January with a view to signing a pre-contract agreement for the summer.