‘Liverpool will have Wijnaldum replacement in mind’ – Heskey still hoping that Dutch midfielder stays

Georginio Wijnaldum Liverpool 2020-21
Getty
The former Reds striker can appreciate why the Netherlands international will be considering a move to Barcelona, but no deal has been done as yet

Liverpool will not allow Georginio Wijnaldum to run down his contract without having a contingency plan in place, says Emile Heskey, with the Reds expected to have replacements in mind.

There is a very real threat that a Netherlands international could walk away from Anfield as a free agent in the summer.

Wijnaldum’s contract is continuing to run down, with no fresh terms agreed as yet with the 30-year-old midfielder.

He has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona, with Ronald Koeman keen on putting a reunion in place with his fellow Dutchman.

Heskey is hoping that a compromise can be reached that keeps Wijnaldum in his current surroundings, given his value to the Liverpool cause over recent years, but he expects Jurgen Klopp to be planning for all eventualities.

The former Reds striker told Stadium Astro of a long-running saga: “I would love him to stay. If he does go, do you think Liverpool don’t have replacements or a replacement in mind?

“He’s going to be 31 [in November] so he’s probably the wrong side of what everyone classes as being on the up.

“For Liverpool, it’s about trying to get the best deal for them. It’s a negotiation. If you are that far apart then it won’t happen. If you are close, then something could possibly happen.”

While being keen to see a Champions League and Premier League title winner stay put, Heskey can appreciate why a switch to Barcelona would appeal to Wijnaldum, with it likely that talks have already been held with those at Camp Nou.

Article continues below

“You’re going to play for a manager that you already know. You know what they are capable of doing and they will have sold you a project,” Heskey added.

“I’m pretty sure he will have spoken to that manager and they will have sold a project they are building. They will have a looked at a five or 10-year project and he will have said ‘yes, I can be a part of this’ or ‘no, I don’t want to be part of it because it doesn’t look solid enough’.

“When they come calling it’s hard to turn them down. They are the biggest clubs in the world, with the biggest fan bases. It will be interesting to see if he takes that up.”

Close