Ronald Koeman has provided a bleak assessment of Barcelona's chances of bringing in new players right now, casting doubt on their move for Liverpool's Gini Wijnaldum.
Dutch midfielder Wijnaldum played the full 90 minutes in the reigning Premier League champions' opening match in defence of their crown at home to Leeds United on Saturday, but he is still being linked with a move away this summer.
Wijnaldum is entering the final year of his contract at Anfield, and after talks over a new one broke down some time ago, they are yet to begin again despite Jurgen Klopp's fondness for the player.
With the 29-year-old still on the comparatively modest wages he signed up for when he first joined the club in 2016, Liverpool are thought to hold reservations over agreeing to a huge pay rise for a player of his age.
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Liverpool got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds.
The Reds remain keen on Bayern Munich's Thiago Alcantara, but Georginio Wijnaldum continues to be linked with Barcelona.
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That had led to speculation over a summer switch to Barca, which then ramped up once the former Newcastle midfielder's ex-international boss Koeman was appointed at the Nou Camp.
With the Lionel Messi transfer circus having now died down in Barcelona, Koeman is keen to put his stamp on the Barca squad and has also been linked with the Lyon forward Memphis Depay, another of his players with the Dutch national team.
But when questioned about Depay – a player who would cost around £23million this summer, a similar fee to Wijnaldum – by Fox Sports Netherlands (via Goal.com ), he said: For Depay to arrive, you must first sell."
Koeman was then pressed on where Barca were at on any other additions this summer, and added: "We're working towards the new season and I think we will go into it with the same group of players that we have now for pre-season."
Barca's first La Liga match of the new campaign is against Villarreal on September 26, meaning that Wijnaldum looks like being a Liverpool player for some time yet ahead of the transfer deadline on October 5.
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