If, as expected, Georginio Wijnaldum leaves Liverpool this summer, it will be a case of deja vu for manager Jurgen Klopp.
Wijnaldum looks set to leave Anfield when his contract expires at the end of the season, with ex- Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman desperate to bring the Dutchman to Barcelona this summer.
Indeed, it emerged on Monday that the Reds are increasingly resigned to losing Wijnaldum, who arrived from Newcastle in 2016, and the Spanish giants are believed to be closing in on a deal.
During his four-and-a-half years at the club, the 30-year-old has played a starring role and has helped Klopp’s men secure Champions League and Premier League triumphs in recent years.
His departure is undoubtedly a bitter blow to Klopp, who handed Wijnaldum the captain’s armband this season and regards the Dutch midfielder as one of his key midfielders.
In what is undoubtedly a frustrating situation for Klopp, the midfielder’s stance is similar to that of Emre Can, who quit Anfield to join Juventus in 2018.
Like Can, Wijnaldum has been allowed to get to the end of his contract as the Reds refuse to be held to ransom.
As reported by Mirror Sport, Liverpool have strict financial limits on players who, like Wijnaldum, have passed the age of 30 when it comes to new contracts.
Wijnaldum has been unable to negotiate a new big-money contract at Anfield and is now likely to repeat Can’s decision by leaving on a free.
The German midfielder, who struggled to live up to his potential in Italy and is now back in his homeland with Borussia Dortmund, has since opened up on his decision to leave Liverpool.
Back in 2019, Can admitted: “He was disappointed [Klopp]. He wanted me to stay in Liverpool, but accepted my decision.
“He also knew that it was not a decision against him or against Liverpool, but for a new challenge at Juventus.
“I had a wonderful and memorable time in Liverpool and will always be grateful to all the people who have supported me there. I am still in touch with Jurgen Klopp.”
Klopp was understandably frustrated with Can’s decision, given the midfielder had become an integral part of his first-team plans.
And it seems that disappointment could strike again if Wijnaldum departs for pastures new…