Liverpool: Wijnaldum leaving 'will be a blow'
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The current crisis raging over Barcelona’s finances may be bad news for their hopes of signing Lionel Messi, but it could hand Liverpool the perfect replacement for Gini Wijnaldum. The Dutch midfielder departed Anfield on a free transfer earlier this summer after failing to agree a new contract with the Reds.
Wijnaldum’s exit has left a sizeable gap in Jurgen Klopp’s midfielder, with the 30-year-old having appeared in all but one of Liverpool’s games last season.
The Reds have not yet signed a replacement for the now-Paris Saint-Germain star, with defender Ibrahima Konate being their only signing of the transfer window so far.
While signing a suitable replacement would ordinarily result in the Premier League side having to pay a substantial fee, that may not be the case this summer.
Barcelona’s financial crisis has opened the door to what could into a fire sale as the Spanish giants battle mounting debts.
The Catalan club are also reportedly unable to register any new players due to the salary cap rules in La Liga.
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In order to bring in the likes of Sergio Aguero and Memphis Depay, Barca must raise a figure in the region of £200million.
The only way they can feasibly do this is by selling some of their stars, with Miralem Pjanic, Philipe Coutinho and Antoine Griezmann all heading for the exit door.
With Barca so desperate to raise funds, Liverpool appear to have a chance to sneak in and snap up one of the most exciting young talents in Europe on the cheap.
That young talent is Pedri, who enjoyed a breakthrough season in Catalonia last term, making 52 appearances in all competitions.
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The 18-year-old starred during Spain’s run to the semi-finals of Euro 2020, starting all six of their games at the tournament.
With Klopp looking to add more creativity to his midfield, Pedri would be the perfect player to bring in.
The young Spaniard is capable of playing both in a central midfield role and in attacking midfield, scoring four goals and notching six assists last season.
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is just one of many who have been impressed with Pedri over Euro 2020.
“The way he receives the ball all the time, that awareness, it comes so naturally to him. He seems like a player who has that natural ability and awareness,” he told BBC Sport.
“In tight areas he wants it, he’ll put it through your legs. He’s a great player to watch, the end product is what you want to see.
“I just think he’s a player who, last season we saw him play for Barcelona you see how impressive he is, he’s brought it to this stage as well.”
While he is currently valued at £63million by transfermarkt, Barca’s financial woes means that that valuation could be slashed if Liverpool attempted a move.
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