Liverpool transfer round-up: Wijnaldum on Barcelona radar, Thiago talks update
Liverpool are preparing for their first pre-season friendly of the summer over in Austria, but off the pitch Jurgen Klopp will hope the club hierarchy are preparing another deal or two.
Kostas Tsimikas is already in, the left-back providing vital depth and competition for Andy Robertson, but further departures are likely after Adam Lallana left on a free transfer and Dejan Lovren was sold to Zenit.
There have been many murmurings of Thiago Alcantara being a target, but he’s not expected to be on the incoming list unless the Reds offload more players first – so it’s no surprise to see Friday’s rumours linking several players with an Anfield exit.
Wijnaldum specifically requested by Koeman
There were reports on Thursday that new Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman wanted Gini Wijnaldum to join as part of the new regime, with the former Netherlands manager having relied on him heavily at national team level.
On Friday, Spanish media have expanded on the rumours, with Sport’s print edition suggesting Wijnaldum wants to continue playing under Koeman and, since it can’t be at international level, it will be at Barcelona instead.
They suggest that the Liverpool No.5 has “paralysed” discussion with the Anfield club on a contract extension and instead is now waiting for Barcelona to make their move.
As with so many other cases this summer, there’s a domino effect at play: Barca need to offload Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal before making their move for Wijnaldum.
A €20-25million fee is suggested to be enough to get the deal done.
Grujic closing in on return to Hertha
German Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin have enjoyed the services of Marko Grujic for the past two seasons on loan.
Now it seems they want a more formal, long-lasting agreement, with Goal.com reporting they are in the running to close a £20m permanent deal.
Liverpool are open to selling the Serbian powerhouse, but another loan is off the cards for this year- he’ll be kept and used by Klopp if no suitable bid is forthcoming.
Fellow Bundesliga sides Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Monchengladbach are also keen on signing Grujic, while Serie A side Atalanta have made enquiries too.
Minamino chose Reds over other options
January arrival Takumi Minamino is hoping to make a bigger splash this season, after several months adapting to his new side’s methods and expectations.
The Japanese forward told the Super Soccer show that he had other options aside from Liverpool to join, though didn’t specify which they were.
Minamino did say, however, that he spoke to former Manchester United playmaker Shinji Kagawa before his move, to ask about his soon-to-be new boss Klopp – and was given a glowing review by his compatriot, who worked with the manager at Borussia Dortmund.
Thiago talks to start next week
And finally, Liverpool’s move for Thiago Alcantara will get under way next week, according to reports in Italy
It's claimed the Reds don’t want to pay €30m for the midfielder and will instead offer around half that amount, but personal terms on a four-year deal with the player have been agreed.
It's suggested that talks between the clubs will get under way once the Champions League final is over and the Bavarian side’s season is officially complete.
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