Georginio Wijnaldum is increasingly likely to leave Liverpool next summer, but won't be sold in January under any circumstances, according to a report.
The Dutch midfielder was supposed to have been made redundant by the signing of Thiago Alcantara in September, but that has not come to pass. Where other managers might have limited his involvement due to his contract situation, Jurgen Klopp has stuck by Wijnaldum and Wijnaldum has stuck by Klopp - he has appeared in every match but the League Cup win over Lincoln City.
There was significant speculation that he would join Ronald Koeman at Barcelona, but a bid from the La Liga side never materialised, and he now looks set to enter the final six months of his Liverpool deal without extending his stay.
According to The Athletic, the chances of him staying are looking less and less likely with every passing week. They say it would take a 'major change of heart' from either the club or the player for him to stay beyond June.
Central to that is said to be Wijnaldum's contract demands. Despite his clear importance to the team, Liverpool are reluctant to table a long-term deal that would make him one of their highest earners, and that is what Wijnaldum and his agent are holding out for.
He is aware of what he could be earning elsewhere, but Liverpool aren't prepared to break from their wage structure to keep him.
Despite contract talks breaking down, however, it looks as if things are more than amicable between Wijnaldum and the club. He has ensured Klopp he remains 100% committed to the season ahead and that is all the German is interested in for the time being. The feeling of 'relaxation' that was discussed in the summer still exists, and Liverpool are not interested in a January sale, feeling the player's contributions are worth more than any fee that could be raised.
Midfield is perhaps their strongest area, with a number of stars set to step up in the months ahead. We're yet to see Thiago hit the ground running, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remains sidelined. Curtis Jones is ready for the next stage in his development and Naby Keita will be keen to cement a place in the team once he recovers from a hamstring issue.