Liverpool are unaware of any agreement between Barcelona and Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum over a free transfer this summer.
It was reported on Sunday that the 30-year-old has decided to walk away from Anfield when his deal expires this summer and has already agreed a pre-contract with Barcelona, who have been pushing to sign him for the last 12 months.
That doesn’t really mean anything in this one, however. Given Wijnaldum is in the final six months of his contract, he has no obligation to tell anyone of his negotiations with other clubs and is permitted to speak to Barcelona without Liverpool’s knowledge.
It is perhaps unusual that Wijnaldum, who has repeatedly spoken of his wish to stay at the club, would reach such a concrete decision without informing his current side, but given he is not legally required to, it’s tough to read too much into it.
One report which might mean a little more comes from RAC1’s Gerard Romero, who claims that Barcelona have denied completing a deal for Wijnaldum.
The wording to that might be the key thing. Wijnaldum is not thought to have put pen to paper just yet, so a move to Camp Nou is technically not finalised, although everything does seem to be moving in that direction.
It’s thought that Wijnaldum has been privately desperate to commit himself to Liverpool and remain on Merseyside with his family, but the lack of agreement over fresh terms suggests the Dutchman has been unimpressed with Liverpool’s offer.
If he does leave on a free transfer, Wijnaldum will likely be able to pick up a bigger wage packet than if he stayed at Liverpool, and that may prove to be the deciding factor.
His departure would come as a huge blow to manager Jurgen Klopp, who is an enormous fan of Wijnaldum and has seen the Dutchman as one of his few constants in a season which has been plagued by injuries.