With Gini Wijnaldum going into the final year of his Liverpool contract and with reliable reports saying there’s no chance the 29-year-old will remain at Anfield beyond the end of the 2020-21 season, a departure this summer has always seemed possible.
Today, possible inched closer to likely—at least if you believe Barcelona-based Sport, whose Albert Rogé claims negotiations are at an advanced stage, that the player has signalled his desire to join the Catalans, and that the two clubs are already negotiating.
A three-year deal is said to already have been agreed in principle between Winaldum and his potential new club, and Barcelona are said to not be willing to pay more than €20M—or about £18M—for the Dutch international due to his age and contract status.
The move is further said to be at the behest of new manager Ronald Koeman, who is on a one-year deal and whose future at the club beyond the current season may be far from certain but who is said to have asked for Wijnaldum as his top midfield target.
The outlet and journalist pushing the story aren’t amongst the most reliable when it comes to Barcelona, but neither are they poor sources, and given Wijnaldum’s contract situation it’s a story that at least does have something of an air of plausibility to it.
It’s also a transfer that, were it to go through, would go some way towards making sense of the incessant Thiago Alcantara to Liverpool rumours given Liverpool-connected journalists have said there’s no room for him in the squad as it’s current comprised.
At the same time, there remains a non-zero chances that despite all the smoke there is no fire—both when it comes to Liverpool’s Wijnaldum and to Bayern’s Thiago—and that the transfer window closes in a month with both still at their current clubs.