Gini Wijnaldum has reportedly asked for time to consider his future as he weighs up Liverpool’s latest contract offer ahead of becoming a free agent.
The Reds have readily relied on the midfielder throughout his time at Anfield, with his consistency and availability ensuring he is the second most used player under Jurgen Klopp.
He sits behind only Roberto Firmino having played 208 games for the manager since arriving in the summer of 2016, and yet he has looked to be on borrowed time having entered the final months of his contract.
The No. 5 is free to talk to clubs from aboard from January 1 as he will become a free agent in the summer having not extended his deal with the Reds.
There has been a sense of inevitability over his departure in recent months, with Klopp himself appearing resigned to one of his key players seeking pastures new back in November.
But a recent report from the Guardian‘s Fabrizio Romano claims Liverpool presented a new contract offer at the start of December and now Wijnaldum wants time to decide the next course of action.
It is stated that “he has promised Liverpool that he will let the club know of his decision before he starts talking to any clubs,” should he seek out a new chapter away from Anfield.
Wijnaldum certainly will not be without suitors, with interest from the likes of Barcelona and Inter having circulated throughout the year.
At 30 years of age, his next contract will likely represent his last ‘big-money’ deal and Liverpool have been, for the most part, known to be resistant to tying players down well beyond their 30s.
The likes of Jordan Henderson and James Milner are the exceptions, however, with their deals running until 33 and 35 years of age respectively, and having shown no signs of slowing down Wijnaldum would certainly justify following in their footsteps.
Long-term security and a pay packet deserving of his efforts is certainly not unreasonable, especially when you consider he has featured in 22 of the 24 games this season, playing the third-most minutes behind only Andy Robertson and Mohamed Salah.
It ensures there’s no denying the sense of loss he would impart should he still decide to sign elsewhere, but that Liverpool have seemingly not stopped their efforts to keep him is a welcome boost for both the fans and player.