If Gini Wijnaldum knows where his future lies, he isn’t telling, even if with just months left in his Liverpool contract the assumption is that the veteran Dutch midfielder will be moving on at the end of the 2020-21 season.
Briefly, though, there appeared the possibility of certainty today when The Sunday Times claimed that following the election of Joan Laporta as Barcelona’s new president, the 30-year-old from Rotterdam had signed a pre-contract agreement.
However, that story may have been premature at the very least, as it didn’t take long for journalists on the Barcelona side of things to deny that any deal was in fact done.
Given the original story was put forward by Duncan Castles, a journalist with sources at Manchester United and whose history of Liverpool insight is spotty at best, there were reasons to doubt the initial report.
On the other side of the rumour, the denials were led by Gerard Romeo of RAC1, generally considered a reliable source for insight into Barcelona.
Still, a denial that the deal is done isn’t the same thing as denying that there’s any deal in the works, and Laporta recently came out to signal that manager Ronald Koeman had his support and would remain the club’s manager moving forward.
That apparent certainty, and the chance to work with his former national team manager next season, would at least appear to make Barcelona a more stable and appealing prospect than they were previously.
On the other hand, Lapota was the driving figure behind the scenes for much of Barcelona’s success a decade ago, and he will likely arrive with his own ideas on player recruitment even if the current manager retains his support.
As such, it’s hard to predict exactly what this all means for Wijnaldum—beyond that a stay at Anfield beyond the current season continues to appear something of a long shot.