Liverpool and Barcelona are claimed to be “well advanced” in talks over a deal for Gini Wijnaldum worth around €20 million, with the midfielder agreeing personal terms.
Wijnaldum has emerged as a credible target for Barcelona following the appointment of Ronald Koeman, with the former Netherlands manager presiding over a major rebuild at the Nou Camp.
On Tuesday, Ivan Rakitic completed a bargain £1.35 million return to Sevilla, and the Croatian is not expected to be the last to leave, with Arturo Vidal likely next and the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez to follow.
With this ageing, underperforming side needing replacements, Koeman is said to have made signing Wijnaldum a priority, despite the Dutchman himself turning 30 in November.
According to Sport, the two clubs are now “well advanced” in negotiations over a deal, with the fee said to be just over €15 million (£13.4m) plus add-ons which would bring it closer to €20 million (£17.8m).
The paper, which is based in Barcelona, adds that Wijnaldum has already agreed on a three-year contract with the Spanish side, including the option for a fourth.
Barca are said to have “acted quickly,” with an announcement possible in “the next few days,” as talks with Liverpool are “on track.”
They also mention the Reds’ pursuit of Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who is widely expected to be Wijnaldum’s successor if he does leave, with under 12 months left on both players’ current deals.
Liverpool are acting cautiously in the transfer market so far, and it has been suggested that were a deal for Thiago to be sanctioned, a senior midfielder would need to leave first.
But Barcelona’s precarious situation has opened up the situation nicely for all parties, and if Liverpool can secure a reasonable fee for Wijnaldum they would likely accept, rather than lose him on a free next summer.
It should be noted that Sport may not be the most reliable source, but it is a transfer story that is worth following in the days to come.
If their information is to be believed, we could see movement between Merseyside, Catalonia and Bavaria in the near future.