Michael Edwards knows as well as anyone that a reputation for being savvy in the transfer market is hard-earned.

Building a Champions League and Premier League-winning squad on a budget dwarfed by your rivals at home and across Europe requires you to make big calls.

And not every decision landed upon by Liverpool's sporting director en route to the success of recent years has been universally popular.

Yet it is for exactly that reason the Reds won't blink as their ongoing contract stand-off with Georginio Wijnaldum nears its conclusion.

Barring a last-minute change of heart on either side of the deadlock, the Dutchman will leave Anfield on a free transfer this summer.

The Echo understands that Liverpool have no intention of improving upon a contract offer that has effectively expired in the months since it received a lukewarm reception from Wijnaldum's representatives.

The player, meanwhile, does not appear to have changed his mind on whether the terms offered fairly reflect his value.

That the situation appears unlikely to be resolved will, of course, be welcome news to a certain section of Liverpool supporters.

Wijnaldum won more games in his first 200 appearances for the Reds (133) than any other player in the club's trophy-laden history.

He was also, by virtue of a seemingly unbreakable body, almost ever-present during a period in which a sixth European Cup and long-awaited league title were secured.

Despite that, he remains criminally underrated in some quarters, perhaps because his talent for filling gaps, retaining possession and providing a platform for others to shine does not always translate through television.

Yet, while Jurgen Klopp is in no doubt as to the midfielder's qualities, he will also be able to sympathise with the holistic view Edwards must take on these matter.

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Now 30 years old, you wonder how much longer Wijnaldum can continue to offer his best football, particularly given the relentlessness of his schedule in recent seasons.

A slight drop-off during this campaign can at least be explained away in that his teammates have all struggled at various points themselves, while only Mohamed Salah and Andy Robertson have played more minutes.

Still, the last thing Liverpool want to do is commit to improving upon the player's current £90,000-per-week terms for the next four years only to realise soon after that a decline has begun.

For a club that doesn't have the wealth of Manchester City, Manchester United or Chelsea but aims to beat them to silverware each year, getting these calls right is just as important as identifying new signings.

Just ask Arsenal, who handed Mesut Ozil a disastrously lucrative contract just days after Manchester United saved them from doing the same with Alexis Sanchez, and then failed to show they had learned any lessons by bending to Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang's demands prior to a worrying and prolonged dip in his goal return two years later.

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In looking to avoid falling into those same traps, Liverpool's owners FSG have handed Edwards the power to do as he sees fit when it comes to transfers and contracts.

And, clearly, he has assigned a value to Wijnaldum's next few years from which he will not budge in the belief that it will ultimately be vindicated.

Such high-pressure judgements are nothing new for the man who sanctioned Philippe Coutinho's departure at a time when he was widely considered to be Liverpool's best player.

Edwards also showed a handy knack for blocking out external noise relating to these matters when questions were raised over the potential signing of 'Premier League flop' Salah.

But, while past success provides no guarantee that Liverpool will get it right with Wijnaldum, his imminent departure represents another chance for the club's sporting director to again prove why he is so well-regarded.