Liverpool’s Dutch midfielder, Georginio Wijnaldum, who had been a long-time target to firm up the Catalan midfield for Barcelona, made a sudden volte face by deciding for former French Ligue champions Paris Saint-Germain instead.
Just when the details of his move from former English Premier League champions Liverpool were almost fully sorted with arrangements on course for Wijnaldum’s medicals at Camp Nou, PSG jumped ahead to challenge for the midfielder’s interest with a juicier offer which appears to have worked in their favour.
The Ligue 1 side has now won the race to sign 30-year-old central midfielder on a free transfer from Liverpool.
PSG found their way around advanced talks between Wijnaldum and Barca by showing the defender their determination to attract him to Paris by improving on Barcelona’s proposal, with a double portion of what Barca were putting forward, as the financial constraints of the latter made certain that they could not offer a better proposal.
As the negotiations go through their final agreements, the Dutch informational is due to undergo a medical soonest before inking a 3-year contract with Les Parisiens.
Behind the PSG move to get Wijnaldum was the manager at the Parc des Princes, Mauricio Pochettino. It is said that Pochettino put a call through to Wijnaldum and after the two Argentines had conversed, the deal was as good as sealed.
It puts a dent on Barca’s midfield reorganisation which is being undertaken on a tight budget given their financial constraints and wage difficulties. They have tried getting quality players from free transfers, like Sergio Aguero for instance, and believed they were Wijnaldum’s destination until PSG swooped in and took him.
Joan Laporta, club President, will be most disappointed but will continue his project of a new squad going with a new Messi contract, which is the most important club priority at the moment.