The 29-year-old’s future is up in the air as his contract enters its final season but he insists he wasn’t close to joining the Liga giants
Liverpool midfielder Gini Wijnaldum has revealed that there was “nothing concrete” in Barcelona’s reported interest in his services this summer.
The Dutch star was linked with a move to Camp Nou after his former international coach Ronald Koeman took over from Quique Setien at the Catalan side.
Wijnaldum has entered the final season of his contract at Anfield and with no new deal in sight, there was speculation the defending champions could look to cash in on him rather than risk losing him on a free transfer.
However, the transfer deadline has now passed and Wijnaldum remains on Merseyside. Speaking ahead of the Netherlands’ friendly against Mexico on Wednesday, Wijnaldum attempted to downplay how close he was to linking up with Lionel Messi and co.
“I don’t think [the Barcelona interest] was that serious, otherwise you would have read a bit more, or more would have happened,” Wijnaldum said at a press conference.
“There was nothing concrete. I didn’t have to think about it. I will stay on [with Liverpool] it looks like now. My contract will run for another 10 months. It could still change, of course you never know that in football. So we’ll see.”
When asked about his midfielder’s future last month, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said that he was “completely fine” with the exit talk that Wijnaldum continued to generate.
“I cannot speak about the future in a few years but it is all fine. It’s all good for the moment,” Klopp said. “You know the situation. Between me, Gini and the club, everything is completely fine.”
Wijnaldum has become a vital cog at Anfield since making a move from Newcastle in 2016, with the Premier League and Champions League winner making 192 appearances for the Reds.
The 29-year-old has started all four of Liverpool’s Premier League matches in 2020-21 thus far, including Sunday’s shocking 7-2 capitulation at Aston Villa. That defeat left the Reds in fifth place, level on points with the clubs in second through fourth place; Arsenal, Leicester City and Aston Villa.
Liverpool’s next match is against the surprise leaders in the season’s early going, Everton, with Carlo Ancelotti’s men winning all four of their opening league matches. Klopp’s men will travel to Goodison Park on October 17 for a much-anticipated early-season Merseyside derby.