Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has urged the club to move for Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and Manchester City defender Eric Garcia in January, according to the Mirror.
Wijnaldum has less than a year left on his contract with the Premier League champions and the talks between the player and the club over a new deal have apparently reached an impasse, despite some reports earlier this summer suggesting they were progressing well.
As Liverpool closed in on the signing of Thiago Alcantara, many believed the Dutch international would be the one to leave to make way for the Spaniard, but even though Thiago arrived, Wijnaldum stayed put. Speaking to the press ahead of his team’s Champions League clash with Ajax tonight (Wednesday), he said he was ready to fight for his place in Jurgen Klopp’s ranks.
Koeman confirmed that Barcelona were indeed interested, but they felt that signing a right-back and a striker were of greater priority for the club deep in financial problems. They were also unable to tempt City to part ways with Garcia, who is in the same boat as Wijnaldum regarding his contract.
Nonetheless, the Barca boss also said that his interest in his compatriot, a player who played under his command for Netherlands, remains strong. He praised his playing qualities, especially his ‘spatial awareness’ and ability to run into the opposition box from the middle of the park.
Koeman wants his employers to sign Olympique Lyon forward Memphis Depay – another player they failed to bring in over the summer.