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Barcelona

Ronald Koeman hits fresh Georginio Wijnaldum transfer obstacle as Barcelona plan falters


Ronald Koeman may face an anxious wait to discover whether he is able to complete the free signing of Georginio Wijnaldum from Liverpool this summer.

The Barcelona boss is keen to reunite with his fellow Dutchman at the Nou Camp as Wijnaldum continues to wind down his deal on Merseyside.

But the difficult financial situation Barcelona find themselves in threatens to scupper his transfer plans, with Koeman needing to offload stars before he can make any significant additions.

According to Sport, midfielder Miralem Pjanic is the player Koeman is keen to get rid of in order to raise funds and create room on the wage bill for Winaldum’s arrival.

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But Pjanic has other ideas.

Asked if he wants to stay at Barcelona, the Bosnian told Mundo Deportivo : “Yes, of course, I did not sign for Barca to leave the following year, I signed to make history at a club that had been on my path for many years.

Barcelona want to sign Georginio Wijnaldum but have to raise funds first
Barcelona want to sign Georginio Wijnaldum but have to raise funds first

“They told me that my character and my experience would be vital to grow a generation of young people from La Masia who were climbing very strongly. Balance is essential and I came to provide that balance.”

Pjanic explained how he had been forced to be patient to get his long-awaited move to Barcelona, who first tried to sign him as a 16-year-old, before reigniting their interest two years ago.

At that time they were unable to afford a transfer as they instead spent their kitty on signing Antoine Griezmann.

A few eyebrows were raised when Barca effectively swapped promising 24-year-old talent Arthur Melo for Pjanic, and while the 30-year-old finally got his move last summer, Pjanic has struggled to hold down a regular place under Koeman this season.

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Miralem Pjanic vows he will not quit Barcelona this summer
Miralem Pjanic vows he will not quit Barcelona this summer

He has started just six times in the La Liga but is adamant he will not quit the club to seek more frequent action elsewhere.

“Look, I’ve come to Barca to win the Champions League, that’s my goal. This year I want to help win the double, that’s my mentality. I never give up. If I don’t play, the next morning I am training harder than ever so that the coaches will notice that I am not giving up.”

He added: “Koeman doesn’t talk much to players so what I have to do is keep working to be ready when he needs me.”

That leaves Koeman in a tight spot if he wants to land Wijnaldum, who is expected to sign a mega-money contract at Barcelona that Liverpool have chosen not to offer.

Selling Philippe Coutinho is another option available to the Barca boss, though there aren’t many clubs who could afford the Brazilian in the current climate.

With Lyon’s Memphis Depay and Man City’s Eric Garcia also poised to sign, Koeman and Barcelona face a difficult balancing act ahead.

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