Jurgen Klopp wants Gini Wijnaldum to stay at Liverpool and does not feel it is inevitable his key midfielder will walk away next summer.
The Netherlands international is free to start discussing terms on a pre-contract with European clubs in 32 days and Barcelona, who were keen on buying Wijnaldum this summer, will be at the head of those who wish to recruit him.
Liverpool have a surfeit of midfielders and Klopp’s options will be plentiful when Thiago Alcantara, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and Jordan Henderson return to fitness to accompany Wijnaldum, Curtis Jones, Fabinho and James Milner.
There has been no move from Liverpool with regards to discussing a new contract with Wijnaldum, who has been an integral player for Klopp since he signed him for £25million in July 2016 from Newcastle and whose form has been at a consistently high level this season.
It is therefore significant that Klopp has expressed his wish that Wijnaldum extends his stay on Merseyside and Liverpool’s manager, whose side face Brighton on Saturday, has refused to rule out the possibility that he will remain at Anfield.
‘I cannot really say a lot about it but I would be happy if he would stay here,’ said Klopp. I am pretty happy with Gini as you can see when you look at most of the line-ups! He has played always good for me, that's why he's played the amount of games (202) he has.
‘He played for us in plenty of different positions and he is in a good moment, thank God. Long may it continue. It's good and there's nothing else to say about it. As long as nothing is decided, everything is possible. I am positive.’
Liverpool have allowed players to run down contracts before during Klopp’s reign, such as Adam Lallana, Daniel Sturridge and Emre Can. All of those players had an influence until the day they departed and Klopp does not expect Wijnaldum, 30, to be distracted by off-field matters.
‘Gini is one of the best people I have ever met and he is one of the best players I've ever trained,’ Klopp said.
‘He is an outstanding person so there is no issue, no issue at all. We are professionals. Our relationship didn't change at all over the years – it improved, obviously.
‘We’ve won one or two things together and we know each other better. I'm interested in his life, he's interested in my life. That is how it is – and that is the truth. Emre gave his absolutely everything until the last day of his contract and Gini will do the same, no doubt about that.’