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'It depends' - Wijnaldum leaves door open for Liverpool exit with contract talks on hold

22:10 IST 27/01/2020
Georginio Wijnaldum Liverpool 2019
The Dutchman is a key cog in Jurgen Klopp's machine after several seasons on Merseyside but he is in no hurry to sort out his future either

Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum says that he will not be rushed into deciding his future on Anfield, nor will he rule out a possible exit - but the Dutchman admits he considers the club "home".

The Netherlands international is in his fourth season on Merseyside, having joined in 2016 from Newcastle United, to establish himself as one of the best in his position in the world.

Wijnaldum has been a key cog in Jurgen Klopp's impressive machine since his arrival, but his long-term future remains up in the air with his contract due to end next year.

The midfielder says he is in no hurry to sort out new terms, however, and that the club's league challenge is keeping his focus elsewhere.

"What would I like? It is difficult to say," he told Sky Sports News. "It depends on what the club wants and how the situation is at that time. We will see. [Anfield], it's like home.

"I'm just focusing on bringing this season to a good end and that's the only thing I'm thinking of."

Wijnaldum will not be taking part in the club's FA Cup fourth-round replay next month however, nor will any of his fellow first teamers, after his manager ruled out fielding a senior side against Shrewsbury Town.

The Reds will instead give their Under-23 side a run-out at Anfield following Sunday's 2-2 draw at New Meadow, as the tie falls inside the club's Premier League mid-season break.

Klopp has confirmed that he won't attend the match and that youth team boss Neil Critchley will be in charge instead - for the second time this term after the club found themselves on the wrong end of the season schedule once again.

Critchley previously took the reins of a young Reds side for their Carabao Cup exit to Aston Villa last month, after the match clashed with Liverpool's Club World Cup commitments in Qatar.

The decision to field a second-string line-up for the visit of the Shrews has stirred controversy in some quarters, with Accrington Stanley chairman Andy Holt blasting Klopp's choices.

Wijnaldum, however, feels that his coach has made the right call, in order to maximise his side's recovery period as they look to seal a maiden Premier League crown.

"Since I've been in the Premier League I've played the season without a winter break but I also know, before I came to the Premier League, how good it is for a player to have some rest," he added.

"After the rest, you can go again. Your body is more rested than if you keep on going, so that's a good thing.

"As a player you want to be involved in every game there is but you also have to deal with your body and sometimes your body just says that it is not the right choice to do.

"You just have to see how the situation is but if the manager decides that the younger players are going to play the game then we should accept it."