Georginio Wijnaldum ‘committed until the last day’ – Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists the commitment of out-of-contract midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum cannot be questioned but refused to drawn on his future.
The Holland international’s existing deal expires next month and he has been heavily linked with, among others, a reunion with former national team boss Ronald Koeman at Barcelona.
Negotiations between the club and the player have not secured an agreement and everything points to Sunday’s game against Crystal Palace being his last for the club.
“Nothing to say in this moment. Gini’s character is without question, a sensational guy, completely committed to the club and the team until the last day,” said Klopp.
“It’s not the first time we had situations like that. The boys are used to being in negotiations, stuff like this.
“We will see about all these things on Sunday. Nothing else to say on this.”
If Sunday is the last game Wijnaldum, who turns 31 in November, plays in a red shirt he can at least sign off by helping the club secure Champions League football.
The midweek win over Burnley put Klopp’s side back into the top four for the first time since February and with a goal difference four superior to Leicester, the team they deposed, they only have to match the Foxes’ result – barring an aberration in terms of goalscoring which could swing things against them.
Gini's character is without question, a sensational guy, completely committed to the club and the team until the last day,
Even third place is up for grabs should Chelsea, one point ahead, slip up against Aston Villa.
Liverpool are where Klopp wants them, however, with their destiny essentially in their own hands.
“Because of the situation we are in, I don’t think we should pay too much attention (to the other games),” he said.
“Unless Leicester is all of a sudden 5-0 or 6-0 up and still 0-0 in ours, I don’t think we should have a look there because it is in our own hands.
“I will not be involved until something really strange happens and I’m pretty sure someone will tell me ‘OK, this result at the moment is not enough so we should go to the next gear’.
“If that’s even possible – because in my mind we will play an absolutely top game – that’s the plan and no-one should have to remind us of anything.
“We won’t look there until something happens which is interesting for us.”
Liverpool’s task will be boosted by the return of 10,000 fans – the first inside Anfield since December.
Klopp just hopes the anticipation of those lucky enough to win the ballot will not place unrealistic expectations on his players.
“We have supporters back and I’d like to use the opportunity to welcome them all,” he said.
“You cannot imagine how much I am looking forward to seeing you all again – at least 10,000 of you – but it is really important, with all the excitement we feel, we don’t lose patience after a minute if we are not going in the right direction.
“We need the best support, very positive, very encouraging, like when we left each other I don’t know when, years ago it feels like.
“It’s a real intense game as we fight for the Champions League.”