‘He really could’ve brought something to the team’: Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman rues failure to sign ‘special’ Georginio Wijnaldum from Liverpool in the summer… but admits Lyon’s Memphis Depay is a more urgent target in the coming January window
- Ronald Koeman has been left to rue missing out on signing Georginio Wijnaldum
- The Barcelona boss wanted to bring his compatriot with him to the Nou Camp
- However, Koeman has revealed that the ‘economic situation’ stopped any move
- Koeman believes the Liverpool man ‘could’ve brought something to the team’
- The Dutchman also admitted a move for Memphis Depay was more of a priority
Ronald Koeman believes Georginio Wijnaldum could’ve made a real impact at Barcelona – but admits a move for Memphis Depay was more of a priority for the Catalan club.
The Barcelona boss wanted to bring Wijnaldum with him to the Nou Camp this summer but revealed the current economic situation prevented the move from happening.
Koeman also denied that their pursuit of the Liverpool midfielder depended on Lionel Messi leaving the club but recognises that the Argentine’s departure would’ve opened up a ‘completely different situation’ in the transfer market for Barcelona.
Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has hailed Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum as ‘special’
The Dutchman wanted to bring Wijnaldum with him to the Nou Camp this summer
‘In my mind, I always assumed that he [Messi] would stay,’ Koeman told Dutch publication Algemeen Dagblad. ‘If Messi had left, it would’ve opened up a completely different situation.
‘Our interest in Wijnaldum, in any case, was separate from [Messi]. In general, I think our squad could’ve done with a bit more depth, especially without the ball.
‘Gini has great special awareness. He can get into the box fantastically well from the middle of the park. He really could’ve brought something to the team.
Lyon’s Memphis Depay was seen as more of a priority but a £28million deal fell through
‘But the club knew the economic situation. [Wijnaldum]’s position was less of a priority in the end than, for example, a right-back or centre-forward.’
The Catalan giants suffered a shock 1-0 loss by Getafe on Saturday, leaving Koeman tasting defeat in just his fourth game as Barcelona boss.
Looking ahead, Barcelona are expected to make another move for Wijnaldum once the window reopens in January and could get the Dutchman on the cheap considering he has entered the final year of his deal at Anfield.
Koeman denied that a move for Wijnaldum depended on Lionel Messi leaving the Nou Camp
Barcelona are also expected to reignite their interest Depay having seen a summer move for the Lyon forward fall through.
‘Everything was ready, but because of the LaLiga rules we knew we had to sell first before we could sign our targets,’ Koeman added about Depay.
‘In the end it was not possible. It was disappointing, but Memphis knew how the situation was at Barca.’