Report: Newcastle refuse to be bullied over deal for £27m midfielder
By Will Butcher
Newcastle have delivered a warning to Premier League big-boys Liverpool by insisting that they won’t sell sGeorginio Wijnaldum for less than he is worth, according to a report.
The Holland international has been linked with a move away from St. James’ Park all summer, after being a rare shining light in last season’s desperate campaign that saw The Magpies fail to avoid the drop.
The Evening Chronicle claim that manager Rafa Benitez won’t be bullied into selling the 25-year-old, who scored 11 goals from midfield last season.
Newcastle value the former PSV Eindhoven star at £27million and won’t budge from that figure, despite Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hoping that a deal could be reached at around £7million less than that.
The Sunderland Echo claims Wijnaldum is keen on a move to Anfield and the 25-year-old is expected to travel to Merseyside ahead of a deal being finalised.
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The Mail reported that if a fee can’t be agreed between the two clubs, then Benitez may look at taking fringe players Lucas Leiva and Jon Flanagan as part of the deal.
The midfielder, who moved to the north east of England last summer for £14.5million from his home country, was the driving force behind The Magpies’ survival hopes.
Wijnaldum has four years left on the five-year deal he signed last summer, and has also been the subject of interest from Tottenham and Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals, Everton.
Klopp has already signed goalkeeper Loris Karius, centre-back Joel Matip, forward Sadio Mane and midfielder Marko Grujic this summer.
In other Newcastle transfer news, Benitez could sign this Croatian legend as he looks to give his new-look side a goal threat.