Liverpool might look to replace one Dutch midfielder with another this summer as they prepare for life after Georginio Wijnaldum.
According to Calciomercato (opens in new tab), AZ Alkmaar’s Teun Koopmeiners has been lined up as a potential replacement for the Netherlands captain, who looks set to join Barcelona when his contract expires in a few months.
Wijnaldum has been linked with a move to Barca ever since Ronald Koeman was appointed as the club’s new manager in August.
Koeman had previously been in charge of the Dutch national team and his relaxed style brought the best out of Wijnaldum, persuading him that his future lies at the Nou Camp.
Barcelona were unable to complete a deal last summer, partly because of financial constraints stemming from the excesses of recent years, so have waited for the midfielder’s contract to expire instead.
Deals are also being discussed with Manchester City’s Eric Garcia, who seems certain to return to the club where he started his career, and Sergio Aguero.
In the event that Wijnaldum completes his long-awaited moved to Barca at the end of the season, Liverpool will be in the market for someone who can replace his drive and energy.
Koopmeiners is believed to fit the bill, having come through the AZ youth system to establish himself in the first team over the last four years.
In total, he has scored 39 goals in 141 appearances, making him one of the Eredivisie’s most sought-after prospects.
The 23-year-old is also renowned for his leadership qualities, captaining AZ at such a young age, and his versatility, which enables him to slot in at centre-back.
Koopmeiners made his international debut back in October, playing the full 90 minutes of a 1-0 defeat to Mexico in a friendly.
For much of that time, he was partnering Wijnaldum in the centre of midfield, before the Liverpool man was replaced by Marten de Roon.
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