Liverpool chiefs had identified Gini Wijnaldum replacement in case contract talks collapse
Liverpool reportedly identified Denis Zakaria as Gini Wijnaldum’s replacement, if they were unable to agree a new contract. The Dutchman looks set to extend his stay at Anfield with the board currently in the middle of tabling a new deal.
Wijnaldum’s existing contract is set to run until the summer of 2021, meaning he has just over one year remaining.
But now the Reds are set to tie him down until 2024, offering him an extra three years for his efforts under Jurgen Klopp.
The Liverpool boss rarely spoke in detail about the situation, largely due to his confidence in the matter being resolved.
Wijnaldum remained coy back in January when asked about his future and refused to give much away.
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His comments sparked fears he may in fact be seeking an exit but now he is expected to sign on the dotted line for a deal which will see him net £120,000 per week.
The 29-year-old has become a staple in Liverpool’s midfield, with many pundits voting him into their Team of the Season.
His versatility has proved invaluable for Klopp in recent times and the European champions are hopeful that this is just the start of a dynasty.
Despite that, the Liverpool hierarchy had reportedly hatched a Plan B in case they were unable to reach an agreement with Wijnaldum.
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According to Wednesday’s edition of The Sun, Zakaria was the player that Liverpool would look to sign if Wijnaldum’s future could not be resolved.
The Swiss international has been one of the stars of the Bundesliga season, which like the Premier League remains on hold amid the coronavirus crisis.
Zakaria is a box-to-box player and is destined for bigger things with all due respect to Borussia Monchengladbach.
He is not the only player at the club that Liverpool have been linked with recently.
Former France international Lilian Thuram’s son Marcus has been a shining light at Borussia Park and has been tipped for a switch to Merseyside.
There is one major stumbling block in the way of any rumoured deal though.
Thuram is represented by super-agent Mino Raiola, who is not on the greatest terms with Klopp.
It’s all down to what Raiola claims as unfair treatment towards another client Mario Balotelli.
The Italian was made to train alone at Liverpool by Klopp in the summer of 2016 before being offloaded to Nice.
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