Liverpool discover what it will take to land Gini Wijnaldum transfer replacement

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With Georginio Wijnaldum set to depart Liverpool this summer, the Reds are beginning their search for suitable replacements. The Dutchman has been a mainstay in the Reds’ midfield since arriving from Newcastle United in the summer of 2016, but appears to be seeking a new challenge having refused to sign a new contract at the club despite months of talks.

Liverpool last encountered a situation of this nature during the 2016/17 season when Emre Can let his contract run down before securing a free transfer to Italian giants Juventus.

With Wijnaldum on the move, Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge has been identified as a potential replacement for the Premier League champions.

The Norwegian joined the Blades for a club-record fee of £22.5million last January but risk losing him among others who may seek alternative options ahead of United’s impending relegation to the Championship.

If the Reds are to lure Berge to Anfield, however, the transfer fee involved will be a ‘considerable amount’.

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Talk of the Blades wishing to recoup the fee paid for the 23-year-old are wide of the mark and the club will only sell if a bid received is substantially more than this, YorkshireLive have explained.

United’s plan for next season involves keeping the core of the team at the club as they bid for an instant return to the Premier League and will only allow anyone to leave if the fee meets a certain expectation.

The feeling with Berge is that a season in the Championship will increase his value further as he is expected to dominate the division.

Liverpool have developed a record in recent seasons for re-routing players from relegated Premier League sides, providing a pathway for improvement at Anfield.

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Andrew Robertson, Xherdan Shaqiri and Wijnaldum are three examples of this, with the Reds raiding Hull City, Stoke City and Newcastle respectively in cut-price deals.

It appears to be only a matter of time before the Blades are officially relegated to the second tier after a bitterly disappointing second season in the top flight.

Chris Wilder guided the Yorkshire club to a hugely impressive ninth-placed finish in their first season back in the league for 12 years, defying all expectations in the process.

But the team have managed just four wins this campaign and sit 14 points off safety. Paul Heckingbottom was announced as the club’s interim manager following the recent departure of Wilder.

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