Real Madrid have reportedly joined Barcelona in the race to sign Liverpool midfield mainstay Georginio Wijnaldum in the January transfer window.
According to a report from Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport, as relayed by Sport, the race to sign Liverpool midfield star Georginio Wijnaldun just got very interesting as La Liga champions Real Madrid have joined bitter rivals Barcelona in pursuit of the Dutchman.
The 30-year-old Wijnaldum has been with Liverpool since 2016, having joined from Newcastle United. He has grown into a pivotal member of Jurgen Klopp’s side, playing integral roles in the Reds’ UEFA Champions League and Premier League triumphs in the last couple of seasons.
However, Wijnaldum’s future at Liverpool has become a subject of speculation of late, with the midfielder having entered the final year of his contract.
The Premier League champions have reportedly put a new offer on the table with a salary worth £115,000 per week, which is an upgrade on his current £75,000-a-week wages. But they are unwilling to meet Wijnaldum’s demands of a four-year extension and are offering just three years on the new deal.
With talks currently at an impasse, Liverpool could risk losing their star midfielder in January as Barcelona are waiting in the wings to swoop and have now been joined by Real Madrid as well.
Barcelona had been heavily linked with a move for Wijnaldum back in the summer after former Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman took over the reins. While a move failed to materialise, the Catalans seemingly remain interested in the 30-year-old, with the manager looking to add a dynamic presence in the middle of the park.
However, Barcelona will now have to contend with competition from arch-rivals Real Madrid. The Spanish capital outfit did not make any major signings in the summer transfer window, but that seems set to change in January, with midfield being an area that Zinedine Zidane wants to strengthen, as per the report.
With Luka Modric not getting any younger and Isco poised to seal an exit in the winter window, bolstering the midfield unit, with an experienced, consistent performer like Wijnaldum makes sense for Los Blancos. Barcelona and Real Madrid are not the only two teams eyeing a swoop for Wijnaldum, with the likes of PSG and Inter Milan also in contention.
Since joining Liverpool, Wijnaldum has racked up 199 appearances, 13 of which have come in the ongoing season. With the January window fast approaching, it remains to be seen if the Reds are able to tie him down with a new contract and add to his appearances, or if either Barcelona or Real Madrid make a move.