Georginio Wijnaldum is “now a new PSG player”, Fabrizio Romano reports, after the Ligue 1 giants hijacked his move to Barcelona.
After reporting over the weekend that PSG were hijacking a move to sign Wijnaldum, they have virtually completed the deal with the 30-year-old signing a contract with the French side until 2024.
He reports via Twitter: “Wijnaldum has just signed his contract with Paris Saint-Germain, confirmed and done deal. Medicals pending in the next hours then it’ll be official.
“Agreement until June 2024. Gini changed his mind yesterday – he’s not joining Barça and he’s now a new PSG player.”
Crucially, he claimed on Sunday: “Pochettino called him many times in the last 56 hours.”
Wijnaldum joins Paris Saint-Germain just days away from the start of the EUROs which will be good news for the Netherlands as they will now have a fully committed Wijnaldum with no distractions.
For Liverpool, this is nothing short of a mistake. By all accounts, he was happy to stay at the club and has even seemed to suggest that there is more to meets the eye with his exit from Anfield.
He said: “I am still busy saying goodbye to Liverpool. I am still emotional because I got a goodbye that not many players got before me. Why I left, you will hear again [why I left]. It will. The club also has to do with the fact that I am gone.”
The former Newcastle United midfielder played more games than any Liverpool player while he was at the club, playing 237 games in total at an average of 47.5 per season and was rarely ever injured.
This summer is quite significant insofar as Jurgen Klopp’s managerial career is concerned as it’s the first time he has had to fix issues in the squad he assembled as opposed to the one that he inherited and was tasked with improving both in the transfer market and on the training pitch.
It’s arguably more difficult to identify and fix issues in a squad comprised of players bought by yourself as you run into issues to do with sentimentality and how difficult it is to recognise your own shortcomings.
Fortunately, Jurgen Klopp isn’t a very egomaniacal manager and is the first to point out a mistake he’s made so it’s safe to assume that he is already aware of what needs to be done in the transfer market.
Next summer might be even tougher as Mane and Firmino will be 30 while Salah will be 29 and he will need to seriously consider selling one of his forwards.
Wijnaldum is the first player under Klopp that was part of the team’s spine to leave the club and while he has hinted at behind the scenes drama having to do with his departure, it will be fascinating to see who the next will be.