Liverpool: Wijnaldum leaving 'will be a blow'
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Georginio Wijnaldum will leave Liverpool next month when his contract expires, ending a five-year stay at Anfield which saw him help the Reds win the Premier League, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup. The 30-year-old has been linked with both Bayern Munich and Barcelona but, according to reports in Germany, his wage demands mean the Bundesliga side have passed on the opportunity to sign him.
Bild claim that Wijnaldum is after a deal worth €20m (£17.3m) per season and Bayern are unwilling to meet his demands.
As a result, it appears as though the Dutch international is set to join Barcelona, with Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano tweeting: “Gini Wijnaldum is set to join Barcelona as a free agent until June 2024 – there’s nothing agreed with FC Bayern, he wants to sign for Barça.”
Speaking after Liverpool’s final game of the season, manager Jurgen Klopp paid tribute to Wijnaldum, telling Sky Sports: “Where can I start?
“I met this wonderful player for the first time in my living room, in the first moment it clicked with us, he was a very friendly, very smart, very open person.
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“It’s very emotional for me because I lose a friend, that is how it is, but it’s normal for these kind of things to happen.
“I am really sure that he will find a great place. Each club that is interested in him should call me and ask about him, then you will definitely take him because I couldn’t be more positive about what he did here.
“Not only was he always available, 90 per cent of the time he played really, really well.
“People might not know exactly what I mean by good because sometimes it is not spectacular, but from a young kid who was an offensive 10, a winger at Newcastle and then came here and became such a controlling midfielder is a massive step, and you can only do that when you understand the game really in the right way.
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“He scored incredible goals, Barcelona, Cardiff, Middlesbrough, so many top, top class performances. And now, it looks like the time is over.
“Everything will be fine, nobody can take away our memories from us, we will share them together. I told him that after the game, he sees it the same way.
“Goodbyes would not be tough if the time you had together was not worth it. It’s really tough because we had a great time together.”
Wijnaldum also gave an emotional interview, telling Sky Sports: “I’m fighting against my tears right now.
“I’ve said that the people in Liverpool and the club, my team-mates, have shown me love during the five years, and I will miss them.
“I hoped to play many more years for the club but unfortunately things went different, I think everyone knows in football that anything can happen but the situation right now is that on July 1st I’m not a Liverpool player anymore.
“As it looks right now this is my last game but what I just said is that in football anything can happen.
“We will see what I will do in the next couple of weeks, I will rest a little bit and then go to the national team and then I have to look when is time to do my story about how everything went, because I think the fans deserve to know the story behind it, and then we will see from there.”
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