Speculation doing the rounds in the media on Friday has pointed towards Barcelona bringing a surprise end to the club’s pursuit of Liverpool star Georginio Wijnaldum.
Rumours centering on the future of Dutch international Wijnaldum have of course been rampant for some time now.
This comes with the midfield all-rounder – who has long acted as a key figure in Jurgen Klopp’s ranks in the middle of the park – inching ever closer to the exit door at Anfield.
Wijnaldum’s Liverpool contract is due to expire in the summer, with little progress having been made in negotiations over fresh terms.
In turn, a host of clubs across the continent have inevitably been tipped to swoop for the 30-year-old, who looks set to be available as a free agent come the season’s end.
Whilst other may be keen, though, it is La Liga giants Barcelona who have long been viewed as clear favourites to actually strike a deal for Wijnaldum.
The Blaugrana are on the lookout for reinforcements in the middle of the park ahead of next season, with the Liverpool star’s fellow countryman and former boss at international level – Ronald Koeman – of course at the helm at the Camp Nou.
Reports in the media earlier this month even went as far as to suggest that a pre-contract agreement is already in place between the two parties.
Moriba to step up?
As outlined above, however, if a subsequent update quickly spreading online on Friday is anything to go by, then it appears that outlets pointing towards an agreement being struck may have jumped the gun.
This comes amid the suggestion that Barcelona, altogether out of the blue, are now considering bringing an end to the club’s chase of Wijnaldum.
As per a report from Sky Sports, those in a position of power in Catalunya are instead mulling over the possibility of handing prodigious young talent Ilaix Moriba a more prominent first-team role ahead of next season.
Incoming president Joan Laporta is said to be keen to switch focus back to the promotion of La Masia graduates to the club’s senior setup, as the Blaugrana eye a return to what made them such a dominant European force during the Pep Guardiola era.
In turn, Wijnaldum could be sacrificed, with 18-year-old Moriba – who has already notched a goal and 3 assists across 5 La Liga appearances – primed to step up.
Oh my word… brilliant from Ilaix Moriba! 😱
What a way for the 18-year-old to get his first goal for Barcelona 🔥 pic.twitter.com/S6t4JyilwE
— Premier Sports 📺 (@PremierSportsTV) March 6, 2021
This article was edited by Josh Barker.
Liverpool betting odds, next game:
Leeds vs Liverpool odds: result, both teams to score, correct score & goalscorers
|Leeds vs Liverpool Result/Both teams score||Yes||No|
|Leeds vs Liverpool Goalscorers||First||Last||Anytime|
Liverpool's latest videos
Liverpool latest news
|1||Manchester City FC||32||44||74|
|2||Manchester United FC||31||27||63|
|3||Leicester City FC||31||18||56|
|4||West Ham United FC||31||12||55|
|7||Tottenham Hotspur FC||31||17||49|
|11||Aston Villa FC||30||10||44|
|12||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||31||-10||38|
|13||Crystal Palace FC||31||-19||38|
|15||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||31||-5||33|
|17||Newcastle United FC||31||-19||32|
|19||West Bromwich Albion||31||-31||24|
|20||Sheffield United FC||31||-38||14|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur FC||19|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||19|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United FC||16|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur FC||14|
|Bamford, Patrick||Leeds United||14|
|Calvert-Lewin, Dominic||Everton FC||14|
|Lacazette, Alexandre||Arsenal FC||13|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City FC||12|
|Watkins, Ollie||Aston Villa FC||12|
|Gundogan, Ilkay||Manchester City FC||12|
|Rashford, Marcus||Manchester United FC||10|
|Wilson, Callum||Newcastle United FC||10|
|Sterling, Raheem||Manchester City FC||9|
|Ings, Danny||Southampton FC||9|
|Mahrez, Riyad||Manchester City FC||9|
|Barnes, Harvey||Leicester City FC||9|
|Zaha, Wilfried||Crystal Palace FC||9|
|Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick||Arsenal FC||9|
|Soucek, Tomas||West Ham United FC||9|
|Pereira, Matheus||West Bromwich Albion||8|
|Player||Team||Red Cards||Yellow Cards|
|Maguire, Harry||Manchester United FC||0||9|
|Lundstram, John||Sheffield United FC||1||8|
|Gallagher, Conor||West Bromwich Albion||0||8|
|Bellerin, Hector||Arsenal FC||0||8|
|Milivojevic, Luka||Crystal Palace FC||1||7|
|Luiz, Douglas||Aston Villa FC||0||7|
|Hayden, Isaac||Newcastle United FC||0||8|
|Soucek, Tomas||West Ham United FC||1||6|
|Shaw, Luke||Manchester United FC||0||7|
|McGinn, John||Aston Villa FC||0||7|
|Neves, Ruben||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||0||7|
|Xhaka, Granit||Arsenal FC||1||6|
|Phillips, Kalvin||Leeds United||0||7|
|Evans, Jonny||Leicester City FC||0||7|
|Egan, John||Sheffield United FC||1||6|
|Targett, Matt||Aston Villa FC||0||7|
|Holgate, Mason||Everton FC||0||7|
|Bissouma, Yves||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||1||6|
|Grealish, Jack||Aston Villa FC||0||6|
|Ward-Prowse, James||Southampton FC||0||6|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur FC||13|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United FC||11|
|Grealish, Jack||Aston Villa FC||10|
|De Bruyne, Kevin||Manchester City FC||10|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur FC||9|
|Rashford, Marcus||Manchester United FC||7|
|Cresswell, Aaron||West Ham United FC||7|
|Bamford, Patrick||Leeds United||6|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City FC||6|
|Sterling, Raheem||Manchester City FC||6|
|Pereira, Matheus||West Bromwich Albion||6|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||6|
|Werner, Timo||Chelsea FC||6|
|Neto, Pedro||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||6|
|Gross, Pascal||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||6|
|Digne, Lucas||Everton FC||6|
|Maddison, James||Leicester City FC||5|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United FC||5|
|Ward-Prowse, James||Southampton FC||5|