Over the past week, the transfer triangle that would see 29-year-old Dutch midfielder Gini Wijnaldum head to Barcelona from Liverpool while the Reds bring in 29-year-old Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich has gathered considerable weight.
It’s to the point where, for many, there is a belief that it’s a question of when and not if the moves happen. And on that front, a claim today by Goal that Barcelona are “confident” a deal for Wijnaldum will get over the line will only add to the feeling of inevitability.
It certainly doesn’t hurt that it’s a story being pushed by Rubén Uría, a reporter with ins at Barcelona, and Neil Jones, who has connections at Liverpool. However, even if Barcelona are confident, it doesn’t seem as though the Wijnaldum transfer is in fact imminent.
That’s because Barcelona need to offload players first—to sell in order to buy. Of particular concern is clearing wages of some high-earners off the books, players like Luis Suarez, rumoured to be on his way to Juventus, and Arturo Vidal, another player to be sold.
Meanwhile, on the Liverpool end, while there is any uncertainty at all about the Wijnaldum deal going through it seems unlikely that a deal for Thiago will go ahead, with The Times’ Paul Joyce today saying Thiago would only become an option if Wijnaldum departs.
Everything, then, comes down to Barcelona. If they can make room for Wijnaldum things could move quickly, but until they do this will likely drag on—and if it drags on long enough, Liverpool will be more than happy to stick with their current midfield options.