Georginio Wijnaldum will view a move to Barcelona as a “dream”, says Danny Murphy, with the Liverpool midfielder looking to follow in the footsteps of fellow Dutchmen Johan Cruyff and Ronald Koeman at Camp Nou.
A summer switch to Catalunya appears to be on the cards for the Netherlands international midfielder.
Barca, with Koeman at the helm, have made no secret of their interest in the 30-year-old Premier League title winner.
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Transfer options were explored in the summer of 2020, but no deal was done then and the Liga giants are having to play a waiting game.
Patience could eventually work in their favour, with Wijnaldum running down his contract at Anfield towards free agency.
Liverpool had been keen to put fresh terms in place with an important part of Jurgen Klopp’s plans, but those efforts have come to nothing.
Murphy believes that is because Wijnaldum has already taken the decision to head for Barca.
The former Liverpool midfielder told talkSPORT: “I understand it more, away from growing up as a Liverpool fan and Liverpool player in this kind of bubble where you’d think, ‘why would he want to leave Liverpool? They won the Premier League and Champions League etc’.
“He’s 30 years old, the manager of Barcelona was his national team manager, who he gets on with really, really well.
“We don’t know his aspirations and dreams as a young player.”
Murphy added on Wijnaldum’s desire to become the latest Dutch maestro at Camp Nou: “In Holland, for example, there are a lot of players who looked up to the likes of Johan Cruyff, Koeman, people like that.
“Maybe Barcelona is a dream [Wijnaldum] has always had. Maybe he feels at Liverpool with some of the signings, that he’s being a little bit edged out.
“That hasn’t shown in terms of selection, as he always seems to be in Klopp’s best team.
“I think he’s done a terrific job for Liverpool, and if he was to leave Liverpool fans would be very appreciative and thankful of the job he’s done in a Liverpool shirt rather than being critical of him for leaving.”
Liverpool signed Wijnaldum from Newcastle in 2016 and have seen him take in 211 appearances while helping them to Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup and Premier League crowns.