If there has been one constant in a season full of turmoil for Liverpool, it has been the presence of Gini Wijnaldum in the Reds side. The Dutch midfielder has been a stabilizing force in the Liverpool midfield, appearing in every Premier League game for the club so far.
After failing to agree to an extension to the five-year contract he signed after his 2016 move to Merseyside from Newcastle, the 30-year-old has been mooted to be ending his time at Anfield in the summer. A chance at a reunion with former Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman has placed Barcelona at the head of queue for the soon-to-be free agent’s service. Despite deep financial problems exacerbated by the pandemic, the Spanish giants are said to be midfielder’s first choice.
It might not be that straightforward however, and the fact that the team’s fourth in line for the captaincy elected to stay through the end of his contract rather than leaving in the summer is a sign that Liverpool have a chance to get him to sign the contract extension still on the table.
Transfer guru, Fabrizio Romano is of this opinion, claiming in a recent episode of the Here We Go podcast that nothing is set in stone:
“We have always said that it’s complicated – really, really complicated. And now, it’s way more complicated because when you arrive in February, the middle of the season, and you have no agreement it’s becoming more complicated and we can say also dangerous – because you are losing a top midfielder as a free agent.
“There is nothing signed yet with other clubs. I always see rumors about Barcelona and many clubs, but there is nothing agreed or done. But, for sure at the moment there is no agreement between Wijnaldum and Liverpool.
“So, only if the player will change his mind about the economical part of the contract and he says, ‘OK, I want to stay in Liverpool because of my career and my family’ or these kinds of things – in this case, you have a chance to keep Wijnaldum.
“If not, I think it’s really difficult because the last bid from Liverpool was at the beginning of December – we’re talking about two months ago. So, it’s really complicated. There is still no agreement. So, it’s up to Gini, but it’s really, really complicated.”
An ironman like Gini will always have a place in a Liverpool midfield characterized by the frequency of injuries. Reds supporters will hope that the long-time servant of the club chooses to extend his stay with a side he’s made history with rather than move onto one he’s already vanquished.