Paris Saint-Germain have announced the signing of Gini Wijnaldum after his decision to leave Liverpool on a free transfer.
Wijnaldum had been widely expected to move to Barcelona to link up with fellow Dutchman Ronald Koeman, who had been pushing for his signature in Catalunya.
But with the new Barca board not matching Koeman’s enthusiasm for a deal, Wijnaldum has instead joined forces with Mauricio Pochettino at the Parc des Princes, following his glittering five-year spell at Anfield.
He has inked a deal until 2024.
A technically-gifted and hard-working midfielder, he was used in a variety of roles by Jurgen Klopp before establishing himself as the German’s go-to option in a box-to-box role.
Liverpool tabled a new contract to keep hold of Wijnaldum last year, but were unwilling to meet the 30-year-old’s demands of a four-year deal worth £8.6m per season.
At PSG, he will line up with the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, and is a solid acquisition for the French club as they bid to end their search for a Champions League title.
It’s understood PSG have handed over a huge total salary, worth well in excess what was being asked of Liverpool, with a personal call from Pochettino sealing the deal to take Wijnaldum to the French capital.
“Signing for Paris Saint-Germain is a new challenge for me,” explained Georginio Wijnaldum after signing his contract.
“I’m joining one of the best squads in Europe and I want to bring all my desire and commitment to this ambitious project. Paris Saint-Germain have proved how good they are in recent years and I am convinced that together, with our supporters, we can go even further and higher.”
PSG could yet complete another free transfer as they close in on AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
They are also in talks with Everton over signing Moise Kean, though no decision will be made until a new manager is appointed at Goodison Park.
“I’m fighting against tears right now. The people in Liverpool have shown me love during the five years. I will miss them, you know,” he told Sky Sports .
“I will miss it. I hoped to play for many more years for the club, but unfortunately things were different. Everybody knows in football that anything can happen.
“The situation as it is right now is that on July 1 I’m not a Liverpool player any more, so it looks like now it is my last game, but as I say, in football anything can happen.
“We will see, but what I’ll do in the next couple of weeks is I’ll rest a little bit, and then I’ll go to the national team.
“And I’ll have to look at how I’ll do my story [about his situation] because I think the fans deserve to know the rest of the story behind it and then we’ll see from there.”