Barcelona delay finalising Georginio Wijnaldum transfer

Liverpool midfielder Georgino Wijnaldum may have to wait until Barcelona can offload Miralem Pjanic before he is able to formally seal his anticipated free transfer to Camp Nou this summer.

Wijnaldum is nearing the end of his Liverpool contract and has not agreed an extension with the Reds, meaning he will leave Anfield as a free agent at the end of June if things don’t change.

Wijnaldum is expected to leave Liverpool as a free agent this summer | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

The Netherlands international has been a key part of the successful Liverpool side that Jurgen Klopp has assembled in recent years, winning the Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup and Premier League. However, he has been linked with a switch to Barcelona for some time.

Interest from the Catalan club last summer never turned into a formal approach, but 30-year-old Wijnaldum could now end up being one of the best value signings of 2021 and is already thought to have a pre-agreement in place with his potential new club.

Wijnaldum is eligible to formally negotiate with any overseas clubs because he is the last six months of his contract, without the need for express permission from Liverpool. As such, it thought that the Premier League were actually in the dark over his pre-agreement with Barcelona.

Liverpool were rumoured to be unaware of Wijnadlum's pre-agreement with Barcelona | Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images

The player himself has remained coy throughout the saga on his future and his latest update to Dutch media outlet NOS was that he still has ‘no news’, presumably, because nothing is finalised.

SPORT claims that in addition to Wijnaldum, Barcelona have also pre-agreed free transfers for Manchester City defender Eric Garcia and Lyon forward Memphis Depay. Garcia is expected to pen a five-year contract and Memphis will sign on for three.

Those deals appear to be sorted already and do not require concessions, such as removing existing players the wage bill or creating room in the squad without stifling emerging youngsters, to be made before they can arrive at Camp Nou. Wijnaldum, however, may be slightly different.

Miralem Pjanic could be key to Wijnaldum securing Barcelona transfer | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

SPORT notes that his wages are unlikely to be an issue even if nothing else changes, but it is said that Wijnaldum still must wait for the new hierarchy to fully okay his arrival. That will depend on an assessment of the home-grown players in midfield and the viability of moving Pjanic on.

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Source : 90min