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FSG handed new Liverpool priority following Gini Wijnaldums public admission – Liverpool Echo

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https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/fsg-handed-new-liverpool-priority-20020423

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If Gini Wijnaldum is feeling the strain over his unresolved Liverpool future, he was not showing it on Tuesday afternoon.

Beaming from ear to ear as the questions rained down, Wijnaldum was happy to tackle the tricky topic over where he will be playing his football next season.

As one of the club’s quartet of on-field leaders, the Netherlands international also delivered something of a statesmanlike address on behalf of his team-mates at the AXA Centre in Kirkby.

Wijnaldum fronted up, admitted he and his colleagues were “angry” by how the situation had gone askew at Anfield and detailed how much they were ready to work to address a shocking slump that has all but derailed their campaign entirely.

In the absence of the injured duo of Jordan Henderson and Virgil van Dijk, it is Wijnaldum, alongside vice-captain James Milner, who is entrusted to guide right now on the pitch.

“We feel really bad,” he said. “The way we deal with situations during the game was too bad, we could do even better.

“It makes me and us more angry because we can do so much better than what we do right now.

“Injuries are a reason, of course, but the situations we have faced had nothing to do with that.”

But while he said all the right things about how Liverpool aim to move forward from this steep, post-Christmas drop, the most pertinent of Wijnaldum‘s words centred solely around himself.

Despite the dwindling days on a contract signed in July 2016, Wijnaldum remains as vital to the cause as ever for Jurgen Klopp.

Featuring in 38 of the Reds’ 40 games so far this term, the Netherlands international has sat out just the trips to Lincoln and Midtjylland, once more proving his value to Klopp’s engine room.

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It remains a striking juxtaposition that a player of such importance has so much uncertainty around what happens to him beyond this season, particularly given his comments on Tuesday.

Are Liverpool really in a position to adequately replace someone so influential at a time when funds are so stretched?

Delivered with that megawatt smile that has become something of a Wijnaldum trademark, the Oranje international admitted he would be “devastated” if his time on Merseyside was to come to an end this summer.

“That is a lot of questions you want me to answer!” laughed Wijnaldum.

“I want to answer them all for you but at the moment, there is no news as it is right now.

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“So I would like to come with news, but the only thing I can say is that I am really happy at the club.

“I am really with the team, the staff and I am really happy with the fans while I play. It is not that I am not happy that I have to leave or something.

“It’s not that easy as everyone thinks to make some decisions for your future. You have to think about everything.

“First you have to negotiate with the club and those kinds of things.

“It’s so difficult to deal with all kinds of things and that is why I think it takes so long. At the moment, in this situation, [my contract] is not the most important thing,

“The most important thing is to concentrate on winning games again and then we will see.

“But until now, the only thing I can say is that I am really happy here, happy with the fans, happy with the staff, my family is happy here and besides that, there is no news.”

He would add: “It would be really difficult [to leave] because if that happens, you will leave a team who you really love, who you have shared a lot of years together with and where you feel really comfortable.

“It will be difficult but on the other side, you don’t know the situation and why you have to leave, so it all depends on the situation.

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“But I will be devastated that I am not going to play for this team anymore for sure.”

It was his biggest public offering yet about his Liverpool future, one that more than hinted of a hope to stay put.

Wijnaldum, it is understood, is settled on Merseyside with his young family and privately has maintained that he would like to remain beyond the terms of a five-year deal signed in the formative stages of Klopp’s Anfield restoration project.

It may not have been a vintage year for the Dutchman so far, but none in Liverpool red are able to make that boast as they look up from eighth in the Premier League table.

But given Wijnaldum’s apparent happiness to stay on, maybe this particular issue should sit towards the summit of what is becoming a pretty lengthy to-do list for the club later this year.

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