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Friends confident Wijnaldum wants Liverpool stay

Close friends are confident Gini Wijnaldum will stay with Liverpool next season - though with an eye on eventually returning to Feyenoord.

The Holland midfielder is inside the final year of his current Reds contract, with talks over a new deal rumbling on for some time. Wijnaldum, who turns 30 in November, has been with Liverpool since 2016 and established himself as a key member of manager Jurgen Klopp's midfield.

During his time at Anfield, Wijnaldum has won the Premier League, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup. But as negotiations over a new deal drag on, there's a concern Wijnaldum could be lost to Liverpool.

However, close friend Boy Waterman, speaking to Voetbalzone as part of a deep profile on Wijnaldum, is adamant the Holland international will stay where he is.

APOEL goalkeeper Waterman says: "Where should he go then? He has won the Champions League and the Premier League there and with the Oranje he is also top. I am really proud of him."

Meanwhile, Ivan Almeida, also a lifelong friend of Wijnaldum who played with the midfielder when they were juniors, believes a return home could eventually happen. But Wijnaldum would only choose one of his former clubs - Feyenoord.

Almeida explained: "If he came back, I think it would be at Feyenoord.

"But he always wants to win, so it has to fit.

"It depends on how it goes. If he gets the chance and the club is doing well at the time, he will certainly do it."

- updated July 13

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Paul Vegas

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