By Alan Hutton

31st Dec, 2020 | 8:00pm

Pundit Exclusive: Liverpool have already landed Wijnaldum replacement

Gini Wijnaldum has been a hero with Liverpool but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he was to leave for Barcelona – after all, they already have Curtis Jones. 

That is the view of Alan Hutton, former Spurs, Aston Villa and Scotland right-back, speaking exclusively with Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams.

Wijnaldum has long been linked with a move to the Nou Camp, with transfer chatter becoming more and more frenzied as he nears the end of his contract.

The midfielder will be free to sign for a foreign club on a pre-contract in January.

But Hutton believes that – although they would like him to sign the deal they’ve offered – Anfield would not particularly miss the Dutchman, whose role could be filled either by Thiago or the young Curtis Jones.

He told Football Insider: “A move away suits both parties. They want him to stay, but they’ve got options there. So if he wants to go, they’re also happy with it.

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“They’ve got Thiago in their now who can come in and play in that midfield, Jones has come in and done well, so they do have alternatives.

“So maybe it’s a case of ‘look, we do want you to stay, there’s a contract but if you see your future elsewhere that’s fine also.’

“It seems like nobody’s in a rush to sort it out. They’re just kind of sitting back to wait and see.”

30-year-old Wijnaldum has been with Liverpool since 2016 since joining from Newcastle in a deal worth £25million.

It’s fair to say that Liverpool have got their money’s worth in the four years since, with Wijnaldum scoring some crucial goals, particularly in Europe.

In other news, Liverpool are taking a massive gamble with Virgil Van Dijk’s contract situation, according to a top pundit.