Barcelona have ‘practically ruled out’ the signing of Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum this summer after being impressed by youngster Ilaix Moriba.
That’s what Sport report today, stating that the Catalan giants have decided to focus their attention and finances on other areas in the team.
Wijnaldum has been heavily linked with a move to the Nou Camp since last summer, when Ronald Koeman was keen to make him one of his first signings at the club.
That never happened as the two clubs couldn’t agree on an asking price for the midfielder, who is out of contract this summer.
It had been felt that Barcelona would pursue a move this year if Wijnaldum left Liverpool on a free, with Koeman remaining a fan of the midfielder, who starred under him during his time in charge of the Netherlands.
However, it seems the club have now had a change of heart on the player.
Sport explain that while Wijnaldum was one of Koeman’s requests as he was ‘affordable’, his signing is now ‘practically ruled out’.
Even with Wijnaldum arriving on a free, Barcelona know they would have to give him a big wage packet as the player is seeking the ‘last great contract’ of his career.
That, though, is not the main reason Barça have changed their mind on him. Instead, it is the form of Moriba that has changed their plans.
The ‘good response’ of the young midfielder in recent games has led Barça to prioritise signings in defence and attack instead.
It’s claimed that they believe Moriba ‘meets many of the requirements’ that Koeman was looking for in Wijnaldum, while it is also felt he has a better understading of Barcelona’s style and better technique.
He is also younger and has more ‘hunger to succeed’.
Furthermore, Barcelona are ‘determined’ to ‘maintain their commitment’ to the youth squad, and so their attention is no longer on the Liverpool man.
This is something Wijnaldum is aware of, and he knows his chances of joining the La Liga club are ‘moving away’, with his priority now to allegedly sign a new deal at Anfield.