Jurgen Klopp Urges Liverpool to Tie Down Georginio Wijnaldum as PSG & Inter join Barcelona Interest

Robbie Copeland
Oct 26, 2020, 2:00 PM GMT
Klopp wants Wijnaldum for the long-run
Klopp wants Wijnaldum for the long-run | Michael Regan/Getty Images

Exclusive - Jurgen Klopp has urged the Liverpool board to tie down Georginio Wijnaldum to a long-term contract, as the Dutchman creeps closer to leaving the club on a free transfer.

Wijnaldum was heavily linked with a move to Barcelona before the transfer window closed, the general feeling being that Liverpool were open to a sale in order to offset the cost of new midfielder Thiago Alcantara. He has since proven himself to be far from redundant however, with only Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson and Fabinho racking up more minutes this season.

Barcelona haven't given up hope of signing the Dutch star, however, and have told the player's representatives they will return to the table in January, when they can open talks over a free transfer ahead of next summer.

A source has told 90min that Paris Saint-Germain, and more recently Inter, have also made their interest clear.

Liverpool and Wijnaldum are still some way apart on an agreement to extend his contract beyond summer 2021.

90min understands that the midfielder wants a £120,000 weekly base salary - a hike of more than 50% on what he currently earns - and the Reds' hierarchy view those demands as steep. Liverpool would prefer to sign him on a lower guaranteed wage, but compensated by lucrative bonuses.

But Klopp has made it clear to the club's negotiators that he does not want to lose one of his most trusted midfielders, indicating that he would be a sensible long-term investment. He feels 29-year-old has five years left at the top level, is a core leader in the dressing room and would cost around £60m in the current market.

The player would prefer to stay at Anfield, but is aware he can make more money abroad, and as things stand a deal is still some way from being completed.

Wijnaldum has been one of the key building blocks of Liverpool's transformation under Klopp, and will make his 200th appearance this season. He started 35 of the Reds' 38 matches on their way to the Premier League title last term, and has been one of their most quietly consistent performers since his arrival from Newcastle in 2016.