Liverpool "waiting" on answer but Wijnaldum's comments provide insight into Barcelona move

LFC Globe
20th January 2021
Gini Wijnaldum - Barcelona Transfer News

's latest comments could prove an insight into why the midfielder is holding out for a move to this summer.

The Reds midfielder is coming to the end of his contract, with less than six months left on the five-year deal he signed when joining Liverpool in 2016.

With the club and Wijnaldum's camp not engaging in talks over a new deal for much of the last calendar year, rumours of a move to Barcelona cropped up with manager Ronald Koeman said to be keen on acquiring the 30-year-old.

Liverpool made a new contract offer to the Dutchman at the start of December, with Wijnaldum supposedly needing more time to decide his future.

On Wednesday, notable football journalist Fabrizio Romano provided an update on the situation as he sees it: "There's still no agreement between Wijnaldum and Liverpool to extend the contract.

"Last bid was made in early December, Gini has not accepted yet.

"It's getting complicated after 7 months of negotiations... Liverpool are still waiting for the definitive answer."

Romano tweeted his update shortly after Wijnaldum was interviewed by the official Liverpool FC website, where he previewed Thursday's clash against .

Wijnaldum expressed his admiration for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp in having faith in him and making him a more all-round midfielder, saying he feels "lucky" to be working with someone who believes in him "no matter what."

Gini Wijnaldum Transfer News

Image: Liverpool FC via Getty Images

"Like I said, every player wants that. Sometimes you work with a manager who doesn't look at you the way the manager looks at me right now so I am lucky and I am pretty happy that I am in the position I am in right now," he said.

He also addressed his lack of goals for Liverpool, in comparison to his time at Newcastle and the Dutch national team, with his comments providing valuable insight into why he may be looking to join his former national team boss at the Camp Nou.

"A lot because when I came here, I think even before I spoke with the manager to join Liverpool, I was more busy as an attacking midfielder than anything," Wijnaldum said when asked how much he believes he has improved under Klopp.

"He said to me, ‘You can do more than only attacking, you can be more of an all-round midfielder than you are right now, you can be a much better midfielder than you are right now.'

"And since I joined the club, he was busy with me trying to improve my game, and I have to say I am quite all-round, right now, as a midfielder.

"The only thing that I have to add to my game is scoring more goals here at Liverpool because I did it at Newcastle. I do it in the national team.

"I have to say that the positions I played in at Newcastle and for the national team are more attacking midfield, and here I am more a box-to-box midfielder so in that way I already improved to be more all-round.

"But to make it complete is to score goals, then you are an all-round midfielder who scores goals. So there are plenty of things that I can improve."

Whilst Wijnaldum is clearly thankful to Klopp for taking his game to a superior level, his desire to be a goalscoring all-round midfielder is unlikely to come to fruition at .

Gini Wijnaldum

Image: Getty Images

Liverpool's midfielders aren't tasked with being the main source of goals, with defensive stability preferred over a more expansive approach.

With Thiago's addition to the squad, it's even less likely the Reds would have two midfielders looking to create and score goals through the middle, as Thiago has shown in glimpses during his relatively few appearances for the club.

But adding goals to his game is something that Wijnaldum certainly aspires to, saying: "Of course it annoys me because you want to help the team, to help Liverpool, as much as I help the national team with scoring goals.

"But of course there are a few differences: in the national team I play as an attacking midfielder, so I come more in front of the goal, but here we work on it also and hopefully I can add that to my game also - and sooner rather than later!"

Koeman offered Wijnaldum the freedom to break between the lines and score goals whilst he was Netherlands manager, and it's likely the Barca boss has similar plans for him at the La Liga club.

Wijnaldum also made clear how important it was to play for a manager who trusts him and believes him in, which he is likely to have felt from Koeman.

Therefore, it would be no surprise to see the Reds midfielder make the switch to Spain this summer.

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