PSG beat Barcelona to the free signing of Georginio Wijnaldum after offering him more than DOUBLE the salary, as former Liverpool star snubs reunion with his old Holland boss Ronald Koeman to agree three-year contract
- Barcelona were strongly linked with signing Netherlands star on a free transfer
- French giants Paris Saint-Germain made a late attempt to hijack the move
- But it is understood the Spanish club did not increase the offer to Wijnaldum
- The 30-year-old has now reportedly agreed to sign Mauricio Pochettino’s side
Former Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum is close to joining Paris Saint-Germain after they gazumped Barcelona’s contract offer.
The Holland international left Liverpool as a free agent this month and was expected to join the Spanish giants once Ronald Koeman’s future as coach was assured.
However, owing to finances, Barca’s offer was less than anticipated and PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino stepped in over the weekend to convince the 30-year-old of a move to Paris instead; he is due to sign a three-year contract, pending his medical.
Georginio Wijnaldum is close to joining Paris Saint-Germain after rejecting Barcelona’s offer
Wijnaldum is set to join Mauricio Pochettino (right) in Paris, rejecting Ronald Koeman (left)
Mundo Deportivo claimed Barca would pay ‘not a Euro more’ to sign him despite PSG’s offer
Wijnaldum had attracted interest from several leading European clubs including Bayern Munich, but was thought to have provisionally agreed terms with Barcelona before PSG’s intervention.
The Mundo Deportivo front page stated the club will pay ‘not a Euro more’, despite the club being aware of the French side’s financial clout and massively improved salary package, which works out as more than double Barcelona’s offer.
Wijnaldum is therefore set to sign for Pochettino’s Ligue 1 outfit rather than move to the Nou Camp, with terms on a sizeable deal until 2024 provisionally agreed.
The Liverpool midfielder (pictured left) left Anfield at the end of his contract this summer
Wijnaldum worked with Barcelona boss Koeman during the manager’s time at the Netherlands
Given their perilous financial situation due to the impact of the pandemic, Barcelona are focusing on free transfers like Wijnaldum’s Netherlands team-mate Memphis Depay (left)
Wijnaldum’s Netherlands team-mate Memphis Depay is expected to sign for Barcelona from Lyon, also on a free transfer, with several players expected to leave the Nou Camp in order to lower the wage bill.
Barcelona had also hoped the prospect of linking up with Wijnaldum’s former manager at the Netherlands Ronald Koeman – now confirmed to be staying at the club another season – would help persuade him to join, but it evidently did not.
The 74-cap international is expected to play a heavy part in Frank de Boer’s side at the upcoming Euros, and will captain the team in the injury-enforced absence of the usual skipper Virgil van Dijk.
The 30-year-old will captain his country at the upcoming Euro 2020 tournament this summer