‘Wijnaldum loves Liverpool but exit door is opening’ – Barcelona-linked star in strong position, admits Aldridge

Georginio Wijnaldum Liverpool 2020-21
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The former Reds striker would like to see a Dutch midfielder remain at Anfield, but accepts that he may have already decided to move on

Georginio Wijnaldum “still loves Liverpool” but may have already decided to take on a new challenge amid ongoing talk of interest from Barcelona, says John Aldridge.

Speculation regarding a move to Camp Nou for the Netherlands international first surfaced over the summer.

Ronald Koeman is eager to be reunited with a fellow countryman in Catalunya and could land a top target as a free agent in 2021.

That is because Wijnaldum’s contract at Anfield continues to run down.

No extension has been agreed as yet, despite the Premier League champions being keen on retaining a talented 30-year-old midfielder, and it may be that money talks when it comes to big future calls.

Aldridge will be among those disappointed to see a proven performer leave if a new challenge is sought, but he accepts that thrashing out fresh terms will not be easy.

The former Reds striker told the Liverpool Echo: “You don’t know what is going on behind the scenes with Gini Wijnaldum. Agents are hard to deal with. Gini is in an ideal position now. His contract is running out, he’s going to be free.

“He still loves Liverpool I’m sure. But there are going to be reasons behind it. Only he knows. If Gini wants to go, he’ll go. It’s as simple as that.

“It’s all in Gini’s court. Will the club push the boat out and give him what he wants? I don’t know, we’ll have to watch this space and trust the manager.

“But if he wants to go, he’ll probably go.”

Wijnaldum will be free to discuss pre-contract terms with any suitors from January, with it possible that a fresh start outside of England will be agreed.

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Liverpool may also explore the option of bolstering their ranks in the new year, with there still plenty of talk regarding centre-half additions at Anfield as Jurgen Klopp manages his way through an injury crisis.

Aldridge expects targets to be identified, adding: “I think, with what’s at stake, it wouldn’t be a bad idea if the right player is out there.

“If they’re not out there at the right price, then they can’t get one. If there is someone out there at the right price then absolutely, I think we should sign someone as an insurance policy to get us through the season and get the Premier League title in the bag again.”