Georginio Wijnaldum leaving Liverpool would be “a real shame”, says John Barnes, but the Reds legend admits “money talks” as the Dutch midfielder continues to be linked with Barcelona.
Those at Anfield had been hoping to have a Netherlands international tied to fresh terms by now.
His deal is, however, still running down towards free agency in the summer of 2021.
Barca are aware of that situation and Ronald Koeman remains keen on being reunited with his fellow countryman at Camp Nou.
Liverpool will not be throwing in the towel on a talented 30-year-old, but Barnes accepts that a man who has helped to deliver Champions League and Premier League title glory at Anfield may already be planning a new challenge.
He told BonusCodeBets: “It would be a real shame if Georginio Wijnaldum was to leave the club next summer.
“He’s been fantastic during his time at Liverpool. In fact, he’s been one of the best players this season, but contracts can get tricky and are tough to come to the right agreement.
“It’s obvious that he wants more money so will want to find a club who is willing to pay him what he wants.
“If he was to leave Liverpool, it would be a shame as I would love him to stay, but it’s not as simple as Liverpool don’t want to keep him because they do.
“Money talks, and at his age, renewing a contract can get so complicated. We’ll have to see what happens for him and whether an agreement can be made.”
While it remains to be seen whether Wijnaldum will have any part to play in Liverpool’s long-term future, Caoimhin Kelleher appears destined to take on a prominent role at some stage.
The promising Irish goalkeeper has been catching the eye while deputising for the injured Alisson, with Barnes forming part of an ever-growing fan club.
He said: “Caoimhin Kelleher did brilliantly in both of his starts against Ajax and Wolves.
“It is good to see that Jurgen Klopp has another option in goal if/when Alisson was to get injured.
“Regarding Kelleher being a permanent number two ahead of Adrian, he’s definitely better with the ball at his feet but I do still believe that Adrian is a better shot stopper. However, Kelleher has a great future in the game.
“Obviously, at this moment in time, no one will be able to replace Alisson Becker as the number one goalkeeper, but if he keeps performing well when he gets the chance, then there is no reason as to why he couldn’t take over that number one spot in the long term.”