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Liverpool Reportedly Beat Tottenham in Wijnaldum Race

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Newcastle midfielder held out of friendly as deal nears completion.

Newcastle United v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Having failed to get a deal done for Udinese midfielder Piotr Zielinski, Liverpool moved on to Newcastle United’s Georginio Wijnaldum. There were only two things standing in their way: a £25M transfer fee and rumoured interest from Tottenham Hotspur.

Today, it appears that neither of those will in the end be enough to stop a transfer getting done, with Sky Sports claiming that Tottenham have backed off of Wijnaldum as Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino believes the fee being demanded for the versatile Netherlands international is too high.

Liverpool, though, appear to have not been put off by Newcastle’s asking price for a player they paid £14.5M for last year. With Jürgen Klopp having been promised £70M plus sales this summer should he wish to splash the cash, if the club want Wijnaldum, the fee isn’t going to be an issue.

With the club having already recouped a fair bit of money selling Jordon Ibe, Martin Skrtel, Sergi Canos, and Jerome Sinclair, their net spend so far this summer is only around £10M—helped in part by getting Joël Matip on a free and triggering Loris Karius’ bargain £4.7M release clause.

With Christian Benteke and Joe Allen likely to bring in around £45M should they be sold, Jürgen Klopp is free to spend what he wants on who he wants. And it appears that he wants Wijnaldum, who has been held out of Newcastle’s friendly against Doncaster Rovers this evening.

Combined with reports of Spurs having backed away at Newcastle’s £25M asking price, it’s difficult to draw any other conclusion than that negotiations to transfer the player to Liverpool are at an advanced stage such that his current club don’t want to risk a pre-season injury that would derail a deal.

If a deal can be agreed within the next few days, the player would join Liverpool for their pre-season North American tour, which kicks off next week when the Reds face Chelsea on Thursday from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. They then will face AC Milan and Roma before returning to England.