Barcelona’s new manager, Ronald Koeman, is targeting Liverpool star Gini Wijnaldum as part of plans to rebuild his team.
Barcelona are still reeling from their Champions League humiliation after they were beaten 8-2 in last Friday’s historic quarter final defeat against Bayern Munich.
Koeman was confirmed as Quiquie Setien’s replacement earlier this week, while the club are also set to appoint a successor to outgoing sporting director Eric Abidal who has been under pressure since a public spat with Lionel Messi earlier this year.
Koeman, a former Europan Cup winner during his playing days at Barcelona, faces an unenviable task, inheriting a demoralised and ageing squad.
Under-fire president Josep Bartomeu insists just eight first team squad players have been deemed untransferrable and the club will need to sell before it is a position to significantly strengthen.
Koeman is already said to have targeted Ajax’s Donny van de Beek and according to AD the 57-year-old has told Liverpool midfielder Wijnaldum not to sign a new contract with the Premier League champions.
Wijnaldum has entered the final year of his current deal and is still waiting for negotiations over a new contract to recommence and had been seeking assurances that he would remain a key part of Jurgen Klopp’s plans.
Liverpool, meanwhile, remain interested in Thiago Alcantara but will refuse to meet Bayern Muinch’s €30million asking price.