Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum is reportedly closing in on a permanent switch to Barcelona as he plans to reunite with Ronald Koeman.
According to Daily Mirror, Georginio Wijnaldum is determined to join FC Barcelona in order to fulfil his boyhood dream. The Liverpool midfielder has already snubbed offers to extend his stay at Anfield, with his current contract expiring at the end of the ongoing campaign.
Dutch sources from the Mirror claim that Barcelona remain a dream club for Wijnaldum, who wants to follow the footsteps of his fellow countrymen like Johan Cryuff, Frank Rijkaard and Ronald Koeman. Koeman, in particular, plays a key role in this whole transfer saga, having worked together with the Liverpool midfielder during his spell with the Netherlands national team.
The Barcelona manager shares a good relationship with Wijnaldum, whose experience of playing alongside Frenkie de Jong should further ease his task, as far as settling in La Liga is concerned.
As for Liverpool, it is fair to point out that they are unlikely to be fazed by the departure of Wijnaldum. The Reds had already strengthened their midfield unit with the arrival of Thiago Alcantara in the summer while youngster Curtis Jones has gained a more prominent role in the first-team with his performances this season.
Although they may not provide that steely determination and the work-ethic that were prevalent in Wijnaldum’s game, they surely provide options for Jurgen Klopp to further expand his scope from a tactical perspective. In addition, Liverpool have been recently linked with a move for Udinese’s Rodrigo De Paul amid all the uncertainty regarding the future of their star midfielder.
As far as Barcelona are concerned, they would certainly welcome the potential arrival of Wijnaldum. The Dutchman offers Koeman more energy and enthusiasm in the middle of the park – something the club has lacked due to the overabundance of technically astute midfielders like Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets and Riqui Puig.
Additionally, the 30-year-old brings with him a vast amount of experience at the highest level of football, having featured in almost 200 Premier League matches. He has also won the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League titles during his time with Liverpool. Such winning mentality could be useful as Barcelona look to re-establish themselves as one of the elites of European football under Ronald Koeman.