Paris Saint-Germain have nearly completed a deal to hijack Georginio Wijnaldum from Barcelona after they offered to double his salary in a dramatic turnaround over the weekend.
After it looked all but certain that Wijnaldum would join Barcelona this summer for free, a crazy turn of events means that PSG have hijacked their move and will double his earnings to take him to Parc des Princes.
Fabrizio Romano has confirmed the news, reporting on Twitter: “Georginio Wijnaldum has decided to join Paris Saint-Germain.
“Barcelona have NO intention to raise their bid after they agreement ready by 2 weeks and medicals planned. Gini is now set to accept PSG proposal until 2024 with salary more than doubled [compared to Barça bid].”
The Italian journalist also reports that Mauricio Pochettino was crucial in attracting Gini to Paris with the former Spurs manager calling him “many times in the last 56 hours.”
I’m personally delighted for the Dutchman as this is most likely the last major contract of his career and not only will he be paid a lot more by PSG than he would have been at Camp Nou (or Anfield), he will also join a club that has reached the final and the semi-finals of the Champions League the last two years.
From Barcelona’s perspective, with their wage bill already an absolute mess, they cannot afford to pay another player in this 30s big wages and so could not match Wijnaldum’s new demands even if they wanted to.
The Liverpool no.5 is a fantastic signing for PSG. Not only does he offer more goals from midfield but he is one of the most press-resistant players on the planet and will help the Parisians become better at protecting leads due to his ability to recycle the ball with impressive efficiency.
Liverpool are losing one of their best players and it seems odd to me that so many fans are totally fine with it but I think that will change when his presence is missed next season especially if injuries pile up in the engine room.
No player has played more games than Wijnaldum since he joined the club in 2016 as the former Newcastle United star averaged 47 games per season.
One of the most underrated attributes when assessing a player and his importance to a team is availability. I might be doing Gini a disservice but I would argue Naby Keita has more talent but simply isn’t fit long enough to showcase it.
The Guinean arrived at Liverpool after rejecting Bayern Munich and Barcelona but has failed to make the impact he was expected to.
Wijnaldum arrived with little fanfare after he was signed from relegated Newcastle for a fee reported to be worth £25million but evolved into a world-class operator, helping the Reds to Champions League and Premier League titles.
At Liverpool, Wijnaldum won the Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup, the FIFA World Club Cup and the Premier League while he didn’t win any individual awards, he should be honoured for the brace he scored against Barcelona to take the Reds to the final in Madrid.