Wijnaldum responds to Barcelona ‘rumour’ as Liverpool future is called into question

Georginio Wijnaldum Liverpool BarcelonaGetty/Goal

Georginio Wijnaldum is reluctant to be drawn on the rumour linking him with a move to Barcelona, with the Liverpool midfielder keeping his transfer cards close to his chest.

Speculation is building regarding a move away from Anfield for the Netherlands international.

Despite being a key man for Jurgen Klopp in Champions League and Premier League triumphs, Wijnaldum has entered the final 12 months of his contract on Merseyside.

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No fresh terms have been agreed as yet and the Reds are understandably reluctant to see a saleable asset drop into the free agent pool in 2021.

That has sparked inevitable transfer talk, with there obvious links to be made between a Dutch star and the new coaching regime at Barcelona.

Ronald Koeman, who worked with Wijnaldum when in charge of the Netherlands nations team, has taken the reins at Camp Nou.

He is said to be exploring the option of putting a reunion in place with a hard-working midfielder.

Wijnaldum is aware of the gossip he is generating but remains eager to avoid being dragged into a debate on his future.

Quizzed on the Barca links ahead of an outing for his country against Poland, the 29-year-old told reporters: “It’s a rumour, I have nothing to say about it.”

While Wijnaldum is giving little away when it comes to his plans at club level, he is disappointed to have seen Koeman lured away from an international post that had seen him put down the foundations on which future success can be built.

“Of course it is a shame that he left, but we are also very happy for him,” said the Reds star.

“It can be compared to when you are in such a situation as a player. But we have to move on now.”

An outing against Poland in the UEFA Nations League on Friday will be the Netherlands’ first since they took in a European Championship qualifier against Estonia on November 19, 2019.

Wijnaldum is relieved to be back on international duty after a coronavirus-enforced break, with a side now working under caretaker coach Dwight Lodeweges looking to go one better in the 2020-21 Nations League than the runner-up finish they achieved in the inaugural 2018-19 event.

“I am very happy that we can be together again,” said Wijnaldum.

“We have a team that gets along well, missed each other. Lots of guys have the same interests. You will miss that, also because it went very well at the Dutch national team. Now there was a gap of nine months, which made the loss only greater.”