Georginio Wijnaldum is on the verge of joining Barcelona, in a reported €20 million transfer from Liverpool.
According to Sport, Ronald Koeman is set to make his first coup in the market in the form of Georginio Wijnaldum. The Liverpool midfielder has rejected a contract extension offer at Anfield and has already agreed a three-year deal with Barcelona.
The Catalan giants are expected to pay around €15 million for the services of Wijnaldum, although the fee could exceed the €20 million mark due to add-ons and bonuses. The deal could be officiated soon after the two clubs resolve minor details and paperwork.
Koeman was hired as the new Barcelona coach earlier this summer, in what was the club’s response to an embarrassing 8-2 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich. The ex-Southampton coach left the Dutch national team to return to Camp Nou, where he had played as a footballer.
Wijnaldum was always topping Koeman’s wishlist ever since he had arrived at Barcelona. Having worked with the Liverpool star in the Netherlands national team, the two are quite familiar with each other. Not to mention, the player himself is a quality one, given his immense success at Anfield under the leadership of Jurgen Klopp.
Wijnaldum had established himself as a key component in Liverpool’s highly successful revolution under the German tactician. But, the potential arrival of Thiago Alcantara to Anfield puts the Dutchman’s position in the first-team in great jeopardy. A switch to Barcelona, in that regard, makes sense.
The Spanish giants are on the verge of a massive overhaul, especially in the midfield department. Ivan Rakitic has already left the club while Sergio Busquets has also become a subject of criticism.
In addition, Arturo Vidal is more than likely to leave Camp Nou this summer, which should pave the way for Wijnaldum to rejuvenate the Barcelona midfield with his energy, discipline and work ethic. It should combine well alongside the likes of Miralem Pjanic and Frenkie de Jong, who is a national teammate of the Liverpool star.
Aside from Wijnaldum, Barcelona also reportedly have their eyes on another Dutchman in Memphis Depay. The ex-Manchester United ace will be on show when Netherlands face Poland on Friday and Koeman, as well as the club’s hierarchy, will certainly keep a close eye on him.
As for Liverpool, the departure of Wijnaldum should enable them to further push for the signing of Thiago. The Spaniard, who is a product of La Masia youth academy, is sure to be an upgrade over the Barca-bound midfielder for Jurgen Klopp next season.