Exclusive – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has made one final plea to the club’s owners to come to an agreement with midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum over a new contract.
The Dutchman’s current deal is set to expire at the end of the current season, and despite repeated admissions that he wants to stay at Anfield beyond this campaign, the two parties have been unable to reach an agreement.
Since talks broke down last year, Wijnaldum has spoken to Barcelona over a potential free transfer to Camp Nou, and sources have confirmed to 90min that he has reached a verbal agreement over a deal with Barça and has told Klopp that he will soon put pen to paper if Liverpool don’t make him an acceptable offer.
Wijnaldum, whose priority is to remain at Anfield for the foreseeable future, wants any new deal to recognise his importance to the club. Alongside Klopp, he believes that he is an integral part of Liverpool’s midfield and wants to be paid as such.
“[It is] really difficult [to leave] because if that happens you leave a team who you really love, a team you share a lot of years together and where you feel really comfortable,” he said recently when asked about his future.
“It will be difficult but you don’t know the situation, why you have to leave it always depends on the situation. But I would be devastated that I don’t play with this team anymore, that is for sure.”
Klopp has never hidden his desire to keep Wijnaldum at Anfield, and 90min understands that he has reached out to the club’s hierarchy to urge them to make an acceptable offer to the 30-year-old to end all the speculation.
However, sources close to the situation have confirmed that Klopp is almost resigned to losing Wijnaldum once his deal expires at the end of the season.
Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has made it very clear just how much he wants Wijnaldum and is prepared to give him the kind of contract which would reflect that, and while the midfielder is willing to take him up on such an offer, he would prefer Liverpool to show the same kind of commitment to him.
Only left-back Andy Robertson has featured more for Liverpool than Wijnaldum, who has racked up well over 200 appearances for the club since joining in 2016, this season. He hopes to keep adding to his tally over the coming years, but feels as though he has been left with no other choice but to consider other options.