Wijnaldum comments on PSG transfer following Barcelona rejection

Martin Macdonald
How Barcelona could line up with Wijnaldum next season

How Barcelona could line up with Wijnaldum next season

Georginio Wijnaldum says the presence of Mauricio Pochettino was a major contributing factor in his decision to join Paris Saint-Germain this summer.

The Dutchman's contract at Liverpool officially ends at the end of June, and throughout the 2020/21 season there had been speculation about his future at the club and whether he would move on as a free agent.

READ MORE: Neymar, Messi, now Wijnaldum & Dembele – it’s WAR again between Barcelona & PSG

The Anfield side attempted to keep him with Jurgen Klopp expressing a desire for Wijnaldum to stay, but no deal could ultimately be agreed upon.

When it became clear the player would not be staying at Liverpool, Barcelona emerged as the favourites to sign him, with the presence of his compatriot Ronald Koeman as head coach thought to be key to the potential move.

It seemed inevitable Wijnaldum would be heading to Catalunya, but PSG pounced at the 11th hour, allegedly offering him a much more lucrative contract than cash-strapped Barcelona could.

On Thursday, he was officially confirmed as a PSG player, and in his first interview with the club he detailed some of the reasons why he'll be moving to Paris.

It seems the opportunity to play with the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe helped swing his decision.

What did Wijnaldum say?

"I'm happy to join a club like Paris Saint-Germain," the Dutchman said.

"Obviously it's a club with really good players, a good manager who spoke to before I joined the club. We know each other from years ago.

"As a football player, you always want to play with the best players around you and when I look at the team and also when I spoke with the manager, I saw a team full of talented players and big players.

Wijnaldum believes Pochettino is the kind of head coach that can help improve him as a player, too.

"And on top of that, I also saw a manager who can make the players even better and also capable of bringing all those players together to make a strong, strong team," he added.

"I come here trying to write history with this unbelievable team."

In his time with Liverpool, Wijnaldum won the Champions League and the Premier League.