Barcelona officials met with the agent of Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum on Tuesday to discuss a potential move to the Camp Nou during the summer transfer window.
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano shared a photo of Wijnaldum’s lawyer, Humphry Nijma, at Barcelona and offered an update on the situation. The 30-year-old is expected to take a pay-cut to join the Catalan giants.
The Netherlands international will sign a three-year deal at Barcelona and both coach Ronald Koeman and captain Lionel Messi have given the “much loved” signing “the go-ahead,” according to journalist Matteo Moretto.
However, there are other clubs interested in Wijnaldum. Samuel Marsden at ESPN reports that Bayern Munich and Inter Milan are both keen and Wijnaldum “is holding on to see what/if Barça could offer numbers-wise.”
Wijnaldum will leave Liverpool after five successful years at Anfield. The midfielder has won the Premier League, Champions League, Super Cup and Club World Cup during his time with the Reds.
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Klopp Bids Wijnaldum Emotional Goodbye
Wijnaldum played his final Liverpool match on Sunday in a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace that secured Champions League football for next season for the Reds. Klopp handed Wijnaldum the captain’s armband for the game and spoke about the midfielder after the win.
The Liverpool boss paid a warm tribute to Wijnaldum and made it clear just how highly he rates the 31-year-old Dutchman, as reported by Sky Sports.
“It’s very emotional for me because I lose a friend, that is how it is, but it’s normal for these kind of things to happen,” he said. “I am really sure that he will find a great place. Each club that is interested in him should call me and ask about him, then you will definitely take him because I couldn’t be more positive about what he did here.”
Wijnaldum also spoke to reporters after the match and was clearly emotional on his final appearance. The Dutch star admitted he had been hoping to have stayed on at Anfield and continued his career with Liverpool.
“I’m fighting against my tears right now. I’ve said that the people in Liverpool and the club, my team-mates, have shown me love during the five years, and I will miss them,” he explained. “I hoped to play many more years for the club but unfortunately things went different, I think everyone knows in football that anything can happen but the situation right now is that on July 1st I’m not a Liverpool player anymore.”
Where Does Wijnaldum Fit At Barcelona?
Wijnaldum’s availability as a free agent and record with Liverpool makes him an attractive transfer target but Barca does not lack for midfielders and it’s not immediately obvious where he will fit in.
Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, and Pedri have been Ronald Koeman’s favored trio this season, while teenager Ilaix Moriba has broken into the first team during the second half of the season and enjoyed plenty of game time.
It’s been a different story for Miralem Pjanic and Riqui Puig. Pjanic could leave after spending most of his first season on the bench, a situation he has admitted has left him with a “bitter taste.”
Puig and Moriba will be hoping for more game time next season, but Wijnaldum’s arrival could spell bad news for the two youngsters. Yet much may also depend on who is the Barcelona coach next season. Koeman’s position remains uncertain with the Dutchman reportedly set to meet president Joan Laporta on Tuesday to discuss his future.