Ronald Koeman confirms Wijnaldum was on his Barcelona list

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Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman has reportedly confirmed that he had indeed wanted to sign Georginio Wijnaldum from Liverpool this summer.

Having arrived to Anfield from Newcastle United in the summer of 2016, Wijnaldum has played a major part in everything Liverpool have done in recent years; he helped them reach the 2018 Champions League final and win it the following year, with his performance in the semifinal second leg against Barcelona standing out. He also helped them push Manchester City in the Premier League to the final matchday in 2019, and was crucial in their title-winning 2019/20 campaign with his 37 league appearances, 35 of which were starts.

However, the 29-year-old all-round midfielder has now entered the final year of his contract, and unless he pens a new one, he will be a free agent next summer. There have been reports over the last several months of talks about a new deal progressing well, but nothing has happened on that front.

He was heavily linked with Barcelona this summer, with many believing Liverpool would perhaps be willing to let him leave if they signed Thiago Alcantara from Bayer Munich. That has indeed been done and the Spaniard has joined Jurgen Klopp’s ranks, but Wijnaldum is still there as well.

“He [Wijnaldum] was on my list,” Koeman told NOS (via Marca).

For his part, the Dutch international recently said he didn’t believe the interest from Barcelona was too serious, otherwise something would have happened.

It’s looking increasingly likely that he runs down his contract with Liverpool and joins Barcelona on a free transfer next summer, providing Koeman keeps his job there.