Gini Wijnaldum and Liverpool face a big three months when deciding his future. The Dutchman is out of contract at the end of the season.
After much speculation, Gini Wijnaldum still has an uncertain future. As the player himself says, the were links with Barcelona that came to nothing but his contract still expires in 10 months.
And that makes this a very interesting three months for Liverpool and Wijnaldum.
If nothing happens, Wijnaldum leaves for free at the end of next June. He can start talking to clubs outside of England in January, in fact, and Liverpool will need his future sorted by then.
Because you can bet there will be plenty of suitors. Wijnaldum has become a fundamental part of the Liverpool team since joining for £25m in 2016.
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He’s played 47 games in each of the last two seasons – incredibly successful seasons, at that. Wijnaldum played 37 of Liverpool’s 38 games as they won the title at a canter.
Losing such a key player for free isn’t going to be easy but that’s what will happen if he doesn’t agree a new deal. And the fact that the Reds didn’t push him out the door suggests that could still happen.
But they need to decide if they want that just as much as Wijnaldum does. He’s going to be 30 by January, after all, and he’s currently looking towards free-agent contracts.
Those contracts, given they’re without a transfer fee, are usually very lucrative for the player. Can Liverpool afford to match such a contract just to keep a 30-year-old?
They’ll need to figure that out over the next few months. While they don’t want to lose Wijnaldum for free, they also won’t want to pay extra for what he’s worth to them.
Thiago’s arrival makes this easier, though. If he can become a star for the side, the Reds won’t need Wijnaldum anywhere near as much. The Spaniard, then, could end up making their decision for them.