FC Barcelona are reportedly pressurizing their head coach to sign Thiago Alcantara instead of Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.
Wijnaldum is one of the successful signings of Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool as he has played a significant role in helping the team taste success over the last two seasons. Wijnaldum scored twice in Liverpool’s semi-final victory over Barcelona at Anfield in the 2018-19 Champions League. The Reds eventually won the premier European tournament, a trophy the Catalans have not won since 2015.
Wijnaldum, who moved from Newcastle United to Liverpool in the summer of 2016, has just one year left in his current deal with the Anfield side but is nowhere close to signing an extension. It is understood that there is a significant difference in opinion between the player and Liverpool over the terms of a new contract.
During Koeman’s run as Netherlands’ manager, Wijnaldum delivered impressive performances, where the Dutch side even reached the final of the inaugural UEFA Nations League but lost the game to Portugal. It was earlier reported Barcelona have offered Wijnaldum a three-year deal as the club is certain it won’t have to spend more than $23 million for the signing.
German publication BILD has claimed while Koeman is keen on bringing his compatriot Wijnaldum to Nou Camp this summer, Barcelona are forcing him to instead re-sign Alcantara, who rose from the club’s youth academy and played for the first team between 2008 and 2013.
Alcantara, who has refused to sign a new deal with Bayern Munich, has won everything with the German side during his seven years there and has been valued at $35 million by the German champions. The 29-year-old Spanish midfielder is one of the top targets of Liverpool, but the Premier League champions reportedly are hesitating to spend $35 million for a player, who is set to become a free agent in about five months.
Fabrizio Romano, a reputed soccer journalist, previously reported Bayern Munich are now convinced they’re going to receive a new bid from Liverpool as Klopp is very keen on signing the former Barcelona midfielder.
It is believed that paying less than $23 million for Wijnaldum is an ideal situation for Barcelona instead of Alcantara’s $35 million amid the financial crisis infused by the pandemic.