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Barcelona close in on Gini Wijnaldum as Liverpool midfielder’s agent holds talks at Camp Nou

Barcelona have stepped up their pursuit of departing Liverpool midfielder Gini Wijnaldum.

The Reds star is into the final weeks of his contract at Anfield and is available as a free agent this summer.

The Netherlands international confirmed he was leaving the club he joined in 2016 before Sunday’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Wijnaldum’s agent, Humphry Nijman, and legal adviser, Jan Kabalt, arrived in Barcelona on Tuesday to open talks on a three-year deal.

The pair were pictured leaving the stadium on Tuesday morning following a meeting over a summer agreement.

Wijnaldum is under no obligation to inform Liverpool of his next move and could now be set to leave for the La Liga giants in July.

With Barcelona in some financial difficulty, the idea of signing a Champions League and Premier League-winning midfielder on a free transfer appeals.

Barca boss Ronald Koeman was interested in signing his compatriot last summer before Wijnaldum stayed put to help the Reds to a third-place finish in the Premier League.

Despite the dwindling days on his contract, Wijnaldum’ s influence remained undiminished at Anfield last term as he featured 51 times in all competitions for Jurgen Klopp.

The Dutchman admitted after the win over Palace that he did not wish to leave the Reds, but is now seeking pastures new.

After being given an emotional guard of honour at Anfield on Sunday, he said: “I’m fighting against tears right now.

“The people in Liverpool have shown me love during the five years. I will miss them.

“I hope to have played many more years for the club but unfortunately things went different.”

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Earlier this month, Wijnaldum’s representative Nijman also left the door open for Bayern Munich to swoop for the outgoing Reds man.

“Wijnaldum is a free transfer and keeps all options open,” he said. “FC Bayern is a great club. If you are interested in him, please feel free to speak to us.”

It remains unclear if Koeman will be the head coach at Barca if Wijnaldum does complete the switch to Spain, however.

Spanish publication Marca reported on Tuesday that Koeman was set for talks with president Joan Laporta over his own future.

In what was a busy day of meetings at Camp Nou, Laporta, along with fellow board members Mateu Alemany and Rafa Yuste, met to discuss Koeman’s fate.

In a statement on social media on Sunday night, Wijnaldum confirmed he was yet to sign any agreement with a new club.

“I would have loved to remain a Liverpool player for many more years, but unfortunately things went different,” he posted.

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“I have to start a new adventure. I didn’t sign somewhere else, everyone knows in football everything can happen.

“The situation right now is that as of July 1st, I’m not a Liverpool player anymore.

“We will see what I will do in the next couple of weeks, I will rest a little bit and then go to the national team.

“I will have a look at my story and how everything went. The fans deserve to know the story behind it.”

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