Liverpool are set to miss out on the pursuit of Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma, according to reports. The 24-year-old is intent on a move to Arsenal as opposed to Anfield.
This comes from Football London. They believe that Bissouma is determined to pick the Gunners ahead of any potential suitors. He is a long-term Arsenal fan, after all.
With that said, surely this increases the likelihood that Liverpool will address the unresolved contractual situation of Georginio Wijnaldum?
Bissouma was considered as a viable long-term replacement for the Dutchman, after all. Instead, it appears Liverpool are no closer to finding a sustainable resolution.
Indeed, Wijnaldum and Jurgen Klopp have made their intentions known what their preferred resolution is. The reality is that Liverpool are still yet to offer Wijnaldum an extension that best represents his importance to the team.
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There is an understandable reluctance from both parties in this situation, it would seem. For one, Wijnaldum is well within his right to play hard-ball given his next contract is likely to be his last opportunity to secure a significant pay-packet for the latter stages of his career.
On the other hand, Liverpool have a self-sustained financial model that typically avoids handing out lucrative new contracts to players over 30.
The Reds have been prepared to break away from their core principles if the need and availability have matched-up – as was the case with Thiago Alcantara.
Whether or not Liverpool identify a similar scenario with Wijnaldum remains to be seen, however.
However, the case of Bissouma is intriguing, to say the least. The report from Football London suggests that Arsenal will wait until the summer to make a decision.
If that is the case, Liverpool have time to draw up a strategy to match Mikel Arteta in the transfer market. However, there are a number of risks in such a forward-thinking strategy.
For one, if Liverpool choose to run Wijnaldum’s contract down and then miss out on Bissouma in the summer, the club effectivley end up with nothing.
Moreover, if Liverpool reach a contractual agreement with Wijnaldum – who currently earns £75,000-a-week according to Spotrac – it enables the club sufficient time to land a replacement.
Finding middle ground
The uncertainty that surrounds Wijnaldum will not aid Liverpool’s attempts to identify a viable successor.
The Dutchman still remains an integral figure, after all. He has started 16 of Liverpool’s 17 PL matches this season.
His durability alone makes him a difficult player to replace. Finding a younger alternative with similar qualities will not come cheaply.
The hope now is that the difficulties surrounding outside deals for players such as Bissouma could force the club to act on Wijnaldum’s situation sooner-rather-than-later.
Indeed we like the look of Bissouma. Given his age, experience and ability, there is every confidence Liverpool could look at making a move for the 14-time Mali international in the future.
For now, however, such uncertainty over a deal should point towards addressing a more urgent matter – sorting Wijnaldum’s imminent future.