Liverpool may elect against signing a Georginio Wijnaldum replacement after Thiago’s £20m transfer
According to the Liverpool Echo, Liverpool may elect against signing a replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum after adding Thiago to Jurgen Klopp’s squad last summer.
Wijnaldum is set to become a free agent from the end of next month when his current contract expires and is likely to leave Anfield for pastures new.
Inter Milan reportedly continue to hold an interest in acquiring the Dutch international (Calciomercato), but have been told that he demands a €10million a season wage (£165k-p/w) to join the Serie A champions.
La Liga giants Barcelona have also emerged as a potential destination for the 30-year-old (The Times) with a pre-contract agreement thought to be in place, after the midfielder made the decision to leave Liverpool.
Wijnaldum walking away would leave a sizable hole in Klopp’s plans having featured 49 times this term and started 43 of his appearances, including being given minutes in each of the Reds’ Premier League fixture to date.
But Liverpool may not elect to plug the gap, as Thiago could be considered as Wijnaldum’s ready-made replacement having been signed from Bayern Munich for £20m (BBC) last year only to be held back by injuries this season.
It remains to be seen if it will be a mistake for Liverpool to opt against replacing Wijnaldum when his current £90k-p/w (Spotrac) contract expires, having been so heavily relied on by Klopp this season who values the leadership the Dutchman provides.
Wijnaldum has worn the captain’s armband on several occasions this term, including in three of the Reds’ last four Premier League games, and the need for leaders beyond Virgil van Dijk and Jordan Henderson is an aspect Klopp has been urged to address.
But Klopp may be left in a weaker position next season if Liverpool elect not to replace Wijnaldum, and will need Thiago not only to continue to improve to the demands of the Premier League but also step up as a leader.
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