Liverpool have reportedly been dealt a huge blow in their attempts to pin Gini Wijnaldum to a new contract as the midfielder has turned down their offer of an extension.

According to Corriere dello Sport, as transcribed by Tribal Football, Wijnaldum has rejected Liverpool’s latest contract offer and looks set to leave on a free at the end of the season.

The report claims that Wijnaldum is keen on a move to Barcelona to link up with his former national team manager Ronald Koeman, with Inter also lurking as a potential suitor.

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Losing Wijnaldum could be a massive blow to Liverpool because of how important he has been to Jurgen Klopp’s success at the club. No midfielder has played more minutes for Liverpool across the last three seasons than Gini Wijnaldum, showing how much Klopp trusts him to do a job in the middle of the park in the Premier League and Champions League.

Wijnaldum is the only Liverpool midfielder to feature in all nine of the club’s Premier League matches this season, with eight starts and one substitute appearance so far. However, he has averaged a WhoScored rating of 6.60, after averaging 6.81 last season, which suggests that he is not yet playing to his full potential at the moment. That could be down to the speculation surrounding his future, but Klopp clearly still has faith that he will perform to the requisite standard in games – as he is selecting him in the team every week.

There is still just over a month to go until January, when he can sign a pre-contract with a foreign club, so Liverpool do have time to convince him to stay. Klopp and Michael Edwards have around four weeks to persuade Wijnaldum to sign an extension and it will be interesting to see how this one plays out between now and the end of the January transfer window.

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