According to sources, Barcelona is willing to promote Ilaix Moriba to the first team daily rather than pursue a contract with Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.
The Netherlands international’s deal expires at the end of the season, and discussions between the Reds and the midfielder seem to be deadlocked.
Wijnaldum has been a core component of Jurgen Klopp’s prosperous squad at Anfield in recent years, but he may be on his way to pastures new.
Barcelona and Chelsea have been linked with free transfers for Wijnaldum, despite the Dutchman claiming that he would be “devastated” if he left Liverpool.
It was thought that he will join Barcelona, but Sky Sports claims that the Catalan giants are dreaming about making youth star Ilaix Moriba an important first-team player next season instead of signing Wijnaldum.
Sky Sports added:
‘Wijnaldum has been waiting on new Barca president Joan Laporta’s comprehensive financial audit to see if they will make him an offer – but that is now in doubt amid debts of more than £1billion. Laporta’s new officials are instead discussing with [Ronald] Koeman’s technical staff whether to promote the 18-year-old Moriba permanently, following his impressive first-team breakthrough this season.’
It is often acknowledged that Liverpool ‘do wish to retain Wijnaldum’ and that ‘a new contract deal is still on the table.’
Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp publicly said that Wijnaldum is not irreplaceable and that the club is fully justified in their stance on his contract.