Liverpool: Wijnaldum voices Qatar concerns
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Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has privately told Barcelona he’ll accept their contract offer this summer, reports say. The Reds star is a top transfer target for Ronald Koeman over at the Nou Camp. And he’s looking increasingly likely to leave Merseyside behind for a new challenge elsewhere.
Liverpool signed Wijnaldum from Newcastle back in the summer transfer window of 2016.
And the Netherlands international has been a vital asset to Jurgen Klopp in the time since, helping propel the club to Premier League and Champions League glory in recent years.
Now, however, Liverpool are looking likely to lose the 30-year-old.
Wijnaldum was wanted by Barcelona last summer and interest in the Dutchman remains, with Ronald Koeman sold on the idea of a reunion with his compatriot.
And, now, Football Insider claim the Reds star has told Barcelona he’ll accept their offer of a new challenge at the end of the campaign.
Talk of Wijnaldum moving to Barcelona has intensified in recent times.
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And it now seems only a matter of time before he’ll be wearing the club’s iconic red and blue colours, with Barcelona confident they’ll be successful in bringing him in.
What works in the midfielder’s favour is that Barcelona have already assured Koeman he’ll stay in charge.
And he could be joined in Catalonia by countryman Memphis Depay, who is also on Koeman’s radar ahead of the summer transfer window.
Depay has been in sensational form for Lyon in Ligue 1 this term, scoring 14 goals and registering nine assists.
And Barcelona are also hopeful of landing Eric Garcia from Manchester City.
A dream target for the La Liga titans is Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, who is also wanted by Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Real Madrid.
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Yet signing him won’t be easy given his huge price tag and the huge amount of competition involved.
Meanwhile, Wijnaldum had a touchline row with Netherlands boss Frank De Boer in their 2-0 victory over Latvia on Saturday night.
And the Liverpool star has now opened up on that incident, saying: “My substitution? Yes I was a bit disappointed. But we shouldn’t make it bigger than it is.
“I wanted to remain on the pitch because I had the feeling that I could score another goal because Latvia were becoming more open in their defence.
“But me and the coach have already talked about it, it’s nothing bad.
“You have fun in the game and you don’t really want to be taken off. But you also have players on the bench, of course, and I also think this is a good time to put them in to keep the feeling across the team as good as possible.
“So on the one hand I was very disappointed, but on the other hand it is also good for the group process when other guys play too.”
Speaking earlier in the season, Ronald De Boer expressed a belief that Depay and Wijnaldum would be good assets for Barcelona.
Speaking to Fox Sports he said: “As a commuter, Wijnaldum could be the cement between the stones.
“And Memphis really adds something individually, he can create something out of nothing.”
“It is understandable Koeman would look towards Dutch players not only because he hails from the Netherlands himself but his most recent coaching role saw him in charge of the national team.”
He then added: “In our time you had the feeling that the Dutch-Spanish ratio was 50-50. There were 11 or 12 Dutch people in the team, including the technical staff.
“In retrospect, that wasn’t good. You really have to take that into account, you have to make sure that you don’t just buy Dutch people.
“Of course, you also see this with German and Portuguese coaches, they also attract a lot of fellow countrymen to their clubs.
“As a coach, you attract players that you know well and who suit you well in terms of mentality and character. But it would be strong if Ronald Koeman gets a good player from the Spanish league.”
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