KEY POINTS

  • Liverpool star Gini Wijnaldum continues to be linked to Barcelona
  • Jurgen Klopp has personally identified Brighton's Yves Bissouma as a suitable replacement, a transfer insider says
  • Udinese's Rodrigo De Paul is also viewed as an alternative for Wijnaldum

As Gini Wijnaldum’s Anfield exit looms, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp may have also joined the recruitment team in searching for a suitable replacement.

Rumors have swirled around the Premier League that Liverpool star midfielder Wijnaldum is already nearing his move to Barcelona, potentially leaving a void to be filled in Klopp’s attacking department. At the moment, nothing concrete has happened yet between the Wijnaldum and Barca.

However, The Sunday Times journalist and transfer insider Duncan Castles, who has a reputation for delivering credible transfer news, revealed that Klopp has already started asking people about Brighton’s Yves Bissouma, whom the Liverpool manager identified as an alternative for the Dutchman.

“I think if you look at Liverpool, it’s clear that [Yves] Bissouma is being thought of (by Liverpool) as an option to replace Gini Wijnaldum,” Castles said in a recent episode of “The Transfer Window” podcast. “That’s if he leaves under freedom of contract at the end of the season.”

“My understanding is that [Jurgen] Klopp has done some work to ask questions about Bissouma to people who know him well,” he added. “Again this suggests that this is something Liverpool have on a potential list of [Wijnaldum] replacements.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is aiming to win for the first time at Old Trafford Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp Photo: AFP / Paul ELLIS

Castles went on to say that if Bissouma stays with Brighton, he would be putting his worth at risk, prompting the Seagulls to make a decision as soon as possible.

“Bissouma’s contract runs until 2023, so he’s getting into that danger area for the club who holds his contract,” the insider explained. “If they don’t sell him in the coming summer, he starts moving into the second last year and transfer value reduces drastically.”

“So Brighton will probably need to extend Bissouma’s contract or look seriously at any offers they receive for him,” he continued.

Apart from Bissouma, recent reports also said that Klopp has got his eyes on Udinese’s Rodrigo De Paul, who is another well-rounded midfielder viewed as a replacement for Wijnaldum, Italian outlet Corriere Dello Sport reported.

However, Udinese assured that De Paul’s exit will not come cheap. According to the club’s vice-president Stefano Campoccia, they are not letting go of the midfielder if the offer is less than €40 million ($48 million).

“De Paul is a talented player and a point of reference for our team,” Campoccia said last week. “He is a jewel and the jewels cost. The proposals did not meet our requests, for less than €40 million, he does not move.” 

Jurgen Klopp, Roberto Firmino, Georginio Wijnaldum Liverpool manager Jugen Klopp with Georginio Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino Photo: Reuters