Wijnaldum and Liverpool reach contract stalemate

Talks between Georginio Wijnaldum and Liverpool over a new contract have reached a stalemate.

A long-standing offer of a new deal remains on the table but, for now, the 30-year old Dutch midfielder has not accepted it.

Sky Sports News has been told suggestions that Wijnaldum has turned down a new contract offer from Liverpool are wide of the mark.

The player, who is out of contract in the summer, wants to stay at Anfield but believes his wages should compare more favourably with the club’s top earners.

Jurgen Klopp has made it clear he wishes to keep Wijnaldum, who has played in all 17 of Liverpool’s Premier League games this season.








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Spanish football expert Alvaro Montero believes it will be difficult for Barcelona to sign Georginio Wijnaldum in the January transfer window because of the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic

Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman remains keen to sign his compatriot but, as of yet, that interest has not progressed into an official offer from the Spanish giants to either the player or Liverpool.

A difficult start to the LaLiga season, as well as their ongoing presidential elections, has put any potential transfer business on hold, while Koeman’s future at the club looks far from secure.

Barca’s long-term intentions towards Wijnaldum may become clearer after the new club president is announced on January 24.

Who else’s contract is running out?

Plenty of other top names will see their contract run out in the summer of 2021 and are consequently free to talk to clubs from foreign leagues now.

The pool of out-of-contract players is more high profile than ever, with club legends in Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero also up for grabs if they do not sign a new deal.

What about incomings at Liverpool?

Sky Sports News reporter Dharmesh Sheth on The Transfer Show:

“If you go back to the summer, Liverpool actually sold a central defender in Dejan Lovren and Klopp decided that he didn’t need to go into the market because he had Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams.

“He thought that would be enough to take them through the season. I don’t think he foresaw the injury problems and having to play Fabinho, plus one of Phillips and Williams. People will say they only conceded one goal against Southampton, but playing two of your central midfielders in defence weakens two areas of the pitch.



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Jamie Carragher told Monday Night Football that if Liverpool don’t sign a new centre-back, they’ll struggle their Premier League title

“The way Liverpool approach their transfer policy, they always seem to have a shortlist of one player – when you look at when they first looked to sign Van Dijk. They didn’t look to sign someone else and came back for him in the following January. Would I be surprised if Liverpool signed a centre-back in this transfer window? No.

“Would I be surprised if they didn’t? Again no, simply because of their recruitment policy. But I just wonder if Klopp will change that policy very slightly and bring in a defender as a short-term fix, having watched what happened at Southampton.”

Which defenders could Liverpool buy in January?

If Klopp does decide to go into the market, who could he land?

We look at how the club’s reported targets have performed this season, what their attributes are, and whether a deal may be possible for any of them in January…

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Barca want to sign Wijnaldum, Depay and Garcia

Barcelona’s top three transfer targets are Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum, Manchester City centre-back Eric Garcia and Lyon forward Memphis Depay.

However, they face a difficult task to land them during the January transfer window and are more likely to target free transfers in the summer, when all three are out of contract.

Ronald Koeman wants fellow Dutchmen Wijnaldum and Depay in his team after trying to sign them last summer.

Technical director Ramon Planes wants to bring Garcia back to the club after he left La Masia academy for Manchester City in 2017.

Pep Guardiola revealed last summer that Garcia wanted to depart the Etihad Stadium after rejecting an offer of a new contract.

Eric Garcia
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Eric Garcia has been linked with a move to the Nou Camp

Barcelona are not expected to make any new additions until the outcome of the presidential election on January 24.

Whoever wins may also choose a different technical director to Planes, with different ideas.

The election will mean a scramble to try and land any of these targets in the final days of the window, while also beginning the offensive to try and persuade Lionel Messi to stay.

Memphis Depay, Lyon
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Memphis Depay joined Lyon from Manchester United in 2017

Messi, whose contract also runs out this summer, can begin to speak to foreign clubs this month with City, Paris Saint-Germain, and clubs in the MLS all interested.

Messi has said he will wait until the end of the season to decide his future. He wants to wait for the outcome of the election and listen to the new president’s ideas.

Barcelona manager Koeman has said on Sunday that he wants the club to prioritise signing a new number nine.

Follow the January transfer window with Sky Sports

The winter transfer window is open until Monday February 1 at 11pm.

Follow all the news and analysis on Sky Sports News and across Sky Sports‘ digital platforms, including our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.

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Euro round-up: Sancho scores in Dortmund win

Jadon Sancho scored his first Bundesliga goal of the season as Borussia Dortmund returned from the winter break with a 2-0 win over Wolfsburg.

Sancho only made sure of the result on a counter-attack in injury time, shrugging off defender Paulo Otvios challenge before firing inside the right post when he just had the goalkeeper to beat.

It was the England forward’s first goal in his 12th league appearance this season, a marked decline from last season when he had 17.

Sancho got his sixth assist of this season though when he sent in the corner for Manuel Akanjis breakthrough in the 66th minute, but it had been a frustrating game for Dortmund despite star striker Erling Haaland’s return from a month out with a muscle injury.

Bayern Munich survived a scare from lowly Mainz before returning to the top of the Bundesliga with a 5-2 win in the late game.

The defending champions were stunned to be 2-0 down at the break, though perhaps it was no surprise as it marked the eighth consecutive game in which Bayern conceded first.

Jonathan Burkardt shrugged off Jerome Boateng’s meek challenge before opening the scoring in the 32nd minute and Alexander Hack headed in Daniel Brosinskis free-kick after Boateng had fouled Burkardt.

Mainz captain Danny Latza hit the post after the break, and then Bayern struck back.

Lewandowski set up Joshua Kimmich in the 50th, six minutes before Kimmich laid the ball off for Leroy Sane to equalize.

Robin Quaison rattled the crossbar for Mainz before Bayern was celebrating again when Alphonso Davies forced an own goal from Leandro Barreiro.

VAR provided the visitors some respite after finding Davies was marginally offside, but there nothing wrong with Niklas Sles goal for Bayern in the 70th. Lewandowski added a penalty six minutes later, then scored his 19th goal of the season to wrap it up.

Suarez strikes late for Atletico

Luis Suarez scored a 90th-minute winner as Atletico Madrid defeated Alaves 2-1 to retake the Spanish league lead.

Suarez scored from close range completing a cross by Joao Felix after Atletico had conceded an equalizer in the 84th minute.

Suarez had helped Atletico take the lead with a 41st-minute assist to Marcos Llorente, who cleared three defenders outside the area before firing a low shot that deflected off a defender before finding the net.

Alaves lost defender Victor Laguardia with a straight red card determined by video review for a hard foul on Thomas Lemar. The hosts equalized when Atletico defender Felipe found his own net while trying to clear a cross inside the area.

The win gave Atletico a two-point lead over second-place Real Madrid.

Iker Muniain scored a 25th-minute winner as Athletic Bilbao defeated struggling Elche 1-0 at home.

The win left Athletic in ninth place, while Elche stayed 17th, just outside the relegation zone.

Serie A: Milan back on top

A goal in each half earned 10-man AC Milan a 2-0 victory at Benevento in Serie A which propelled them back to the top of the standings on Sunday.

City rivals Inter Milan had thrashed Crotone 6-2 to go top earlier on Sunday but Milan soon found themselves in front in Campania thanks to Franck Kessie’s 15th-minute penalty.

Milan’s task was made more difficult after Sandro Tonali was sent off in the 33rd minute following a VAR review. The referee had initially shown the midfielder a yellow card for a dangerous tackle but changed it to red after consulting the pitch-side monitor.

Rafael Leao made it 2-0 four minutes into the second half, while the hosts missed a penalty. Milan remain unbeaten and have 37 points from 15 games, one point ahead of Inter, while Benevento stay 10th.

Lautaro Martinez netted a hat-trick to help Inter Milan beat relegation-threatened Crotone 6-2. Martinez could have had four if his second attempt had not gone down as an own goal by Crotone defender Luca Marrone.

Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi also scored in a strong second-half performance from the Nerazzurri. Duvan Zapata scored twice as Atalanta beat Sassuolo 5-1 to close in on its opponent in the battle for the top four.

Sassuolo slipped to fifth, two points behind fourth-place Napoli after Gennaro Gattuso’s side won 4-1 at Cagliari despite playing 18 minutes with 10 men after Piotr Zielinski was sent off following two yellow cards.

Edin Dzeko scored the only goal as Roma beat Sampdoria 1-0 to remain third, six points behind Inter.

At the other end of the table, Torino moved off bottom spot and out of the relegation zone with a 3-0 win at Parma.

Spezia slipped into the bottom three after losing 1-0 at home to Hellas Verona. Genoa, the other team in the relegation zone, managed to draw 1-1 against Lazio. Fiorentina drew 0-0 against Bologna.

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Coutinho set to miss three months after knee surgery

Philippe Coutinho is set to be out for three months following “successful” knee surgery, Barcelona has confirmed.

The Brazilian international had his left meniscus operated on after sustaining an injury during Barcelona’s 1-1 draw with Eibar on December 29.

Coutinho started the game on the bench and came on in the second half, but limped off the pitch during stoppage time as Barcelona finished the match with 10 men having made all their substitutions.

Coutinho, who returned to Barca this season after a successful loan spell with Bayern Munich, has three goals and two assists in all competitions. He joins a growing injury list which already includes Gerard Pique, Ansu Fati and Sergi Roberto.



Lionel Messi came close to leaving the Nou Camp earlier this year




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Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman says Mauricio Pochettino’s talks over taking charge at Paris Saint-Germain will have no bearing on the future of Lionel Messi.

Barcelona have endured a torrid start to their La Liga campaign and sit sixth in the La Liga standings on 25 points from 15 games, seven behind leaders Atletico Madrid who have two games in hand.

Koeman: La Liga title race ‘complicated’

Barcelona suffered without injured Lionel Messi as they drew 1-1 at home to struggling Eibar, with manager Ronald Koeman admitting the La Liga title race is “complicated”.

Koeman conceded the title appears to be beyond Barcelona this season and admitted after the game his side were not up to speed.

“If I’m realistic, the title is very complicated,” he said. “Nothing is impossible, but you have to recognise the distance.

“Atletico seem to me to be very good, very strong. They don’t concede many goals.”

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Barca’s Coutinho to have knee surgery

Philippe Coutinho is set to undergo knee surgery after sustaining an injury during Barcelona’s 1-1 draw with Eibar, the Spanish club said on Wednesday.

Coutinho, 28, started the game on the bench and came on in the second half, but limped off the pitch during stoppage time as Barcelona finished the game with 10 men having made all their substitutions.

“The tests carried out on the first team player Philippe Coutinho have shown that the midfielder has an injury to the lateral meniscus in his left knee,” the club said in a statement.

“Treatment will necessitate arthroscopic surgery which will take place in the coming days.”

The club did not give a timeframe on his return.

Coutinho, who returned to Barca this season after a successful loan spell with Bayern Munich, has three goals and two assists in all competitions. He joins a growing injury list which already includes Gerard Pique, Ansu Fati and Sergi Roberto.

Barcelona have endured a torrid start to their La Liga campaign and sit sixth in the La Liga standings on 25 points from 15 games, seven behind leaders Atletico Madrid who have two games in hand.

Koeman: La Liga title race ‘complicated’

Barcelona suffered without injured Lionel Messi as they drew 1-1 at home to struggling Eibar, with manager Ronald Koeman admitting the La Liga title race is “complicated”.

Koeman conceded the title appears to be beyond Barcelona this season and admitted after the game his side were not up to speed.

“If I’m realistic, the title is very complicated,” he said. “Nothing is impossible, but you have to recognise the distance.

“Atletico seem to me to be very good, very strong. They don’t concede many goals.”

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