Following Newcastle United’s relegation to the Championship, attacking midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum is set for a summer departure.
The 25-year-old joined Newcastle in a £14.5 million deal last summer, but despite scoring 11 goals in 38 games from midfield, he experienced relegation in his first season in the Premier League.
Magpies manager Rafa Benitez is now left struggling to hold onto his key players ahead of a campaign in England’s second-tier league, with Wijnaldum among his discontented group.
According to the Mirror, Liverpool have been joined by both Everton and Tottenham Hotspur in the race to sign Wijnaldum, who is valued at £25 million.
Neil Moxley writes that the Reds are “strongly in the running” to sign the attacking midfielder, though Spurs are said to be his most likely destination.
Benitez is reported to have asked Liverpool for 20-year-old winger Jordon Ibe in a part-exchange deal, but with Bournemouth having seen their £15 million bid for the former Wycombe Wanderers youth accepted, the Spaniard would now have to settle for a straightforward offer.
Wijnaldum’s move to St. James’ Park last summer was largely seen as a coup by Newcastle, having scored 18 goals and laid on a further six assists in his final season with PSV Eindhoven.
The Dutch international also starred at the World Cup in 2014, scoring as the Netherlands sealed a 3-0 win over Brazil in the tournament’s third-place play-off clash.
Despite Newcastle‘s relegation in 2016, Wijnaldum would be an excellent signing for a top-level Premier League side.
His intelligence, athleticism and eye for goal would see him shine under Klopp at Liverpool, but it is unlikely that the 49-year-old would make a move to sign him this summer.
Having secured a £30 million deal to bring Sadio Mane to Merseyside from Southampton, Klopp’s attacking ranks are ripe with talent.
Wijnaldum would be left to compete with Roberto Firmino for a starting role, leaving the likelihood of Newcastle‘s No. 5 becoming a Reds player decidedly slim given his lofty valuation.