Georginio Wijnaldum is intent on remaining at Liverpool beyond the end of his current contract, according to reports. The Dutchman has told the club he wants to stay.
Wijnaldum makes his intentions known
That’s the word from 90Min, who claims that Wijnaldum has said to Liverpool he wants to stay rather than move on next summer, but wants a contract that recognises his importance.
It had looked like the 30-year-old would leave the club given he is free to sign a pre-contract arrangement at a foreign club.
Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has persistently been linked with an approach for Wijnaldum, whilst the report suggests Chelsea and Manchester City could look to swoop if his contract runs down.
And Wijnaldum wants a new deal at Anfield that recognises his importance to the Premier League champions. He has been one of Liverpool’s key players this season, after all.
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Wijnaldum is also one of the few players who has consistently been fit all season. His versatility and durability is worth a fortune to Liverpool in the midst of an injury crisis.
But perhaps we’ve already mentioned the issue here – he’s 30.
Wijnaldum is exceptional, there is no denying that, but his best years are behind him. So, this makes it difficult for Liverpool when you hear he wants a four-year contract.
Now, we don’t know wage demands but we can expect them to be high. Wijnaldum is an elite player, after all, in a hugely successful team. As such, it’s his final opportunity to secure a hefty pay-packet during the latter stages of his career.
Finding a compromise
This wouldn’t be much of an issue if Wijnaldum wasn’t a Liverpool player. The club’s self-sustaining transfer model prohibits them from handing out lucrative deals to players in their 30’s.
James Milner is a rare exception and is about as good as it gets for a player in that age bracket. With that said, there is every reason Liverpool can find a similar compromise with Wijnaldum.
Like Milner, Wijnaldum is slowly becoming a squad player and will continue to do so over the next few years. That just seems inevitable given the array of midfield talent at Klopp’s disposal.
We imagine, then, that Liverpool want to pay him like an elite squad player. The main point in question is whether the club’s valuation matches up with Wijnaldum.
He may feel, however, that he can earn a lot more as a first-team player at another team – which is more than understandable.
The reality then, is that Klopp wants Wijnaldum to stay, Wijnaldum himself wants to stay. It’s now down to the club to come up with a solution that benefits all parties involved.