Georginio Wijnaldum’s arrival at Barcelona from Liverpool would deeply affect the first-team chances of three exciting youngsters, a report claims.
Reports last weekend claimed that Barca are on the verge of securing the Dutchman’s signature.
Wijnaldum‘s contract at Liverpool expires in the summer and, as such, became free to talk to overseas clubs in January.
Indeed, the report from Football Insider claimed that the talking between Liverpool and the midfielder has stopped.
According to Mundo Deportivo (via Sport Witness), though, Wijnaldum’s arrival would affect the chances of Carles Alena, Pedri and Ilaix Moriba at Camp Nou.
In fact, the move would ‘close the door’ on Alena, who is currently enjoying a loan spell at Getafe.
The 23-year-old made five first-team appearances earlier in the season before leaving in January. However, he is supposedly expecting a greater say in proceedings next season.
Pedri, meanwhile, is five years younger than Alena but has already established himself in the first team.
The Spaniard has appeared in every La Liga game this term, notching three goals and six assists. As such, having his chances restricted would prove a huge blow for a rising talent.
Moriba, also 18, made his La Liga debut in February’s win over Alaves, notching an assist to boot.
Mundo Deportivo adds, though, that Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has made Wijnaldum’s arrival a ‘priority’.
The manager feels that his fellow Dutchman has qualities that none of his other midfielders possess. Therefore, he faces a balancing act between adding such qualities and finding game time for his younger stars.
As for how Wijnaldum would fit in at Barca, the report claims that he will take over Sergio Busquets’ role in the team.
Wijnaldum admits to no news over contract
Wijnaldum has faced several questions over his future in recent months.
Asked how hard it would be to leave, he told a press conference last week: “Really difficult because if that happens you will leave a team who you really love, a team who you shared a lot of years together, and where you feel really comfortable.
“That would be difficult… it always depends on the situation but that I would be devastated that I don’t play with this team anymore, that would be for sure.
“At the moment, there is no news as it is right now. I would lie if I come with news. The only thing that I can say is that I’m really happy at the club – I’m really happy with the team, the staff, and really happy with the fans for who I play.”