Liverpool can take advantage of Lionel Messi’s uncertain Barcelona future, according to former Spurs and Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson.
Speaking to Football Insider, the 41-year-old believes speculation around the Argentina icon could throw doubt on any move Gini Wijnaldum could be planning to Camp Nou.
“I think he stays [at Liverpool],” the former England stopper said of our No.5. “The fact that he has said he will give it a couple of weeks… I think he will sign a new contract. Lionel Messi will be able to talk to other clubs in January, will he be there next season? That could sway Wijnaldum.
“Liverpool will not want uncertainty and unrest midway through the season so they will have a conversation with him because either way it needs to be put to bed. [Jurgen] Klopp will not want it hanging over the team.
“We have seen how important he is to him with the injuries they have had. He has been one of their outstanding players this season. I think Liverpool will have offered him a contract that is better than what he can get anywhere else.
“He has been linked with Barcelona but they are in financial trouble so I do not think they would be able to match Liverpool’s offer.”
While we would like to wholeheartedly agree with Robinson, we’re not sure what difference it would make for Wijnaldum if Messi was to leave Barcelona this summer.
Of course, anyone would love to play alongside a player who is widely regarded as the greatest of all time – but the links between Gini and the Catalonians is manager Ronald Koeman.
The compatriots worked together at international level with the Netherlands, where Wijnaldum found success alongside now-Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
That being said, we at Empire of the Kop remain hopeful Gini will put pen to paper on a new deal with Liverpool.