Barcelona-bound Wijnaldum confirms he’s leaving

Paul Macdonald
Barcelona-bound Wijnaldum confirms he’s leaving

Gini Wijnaldum has offered a tearful goodbye to Liverpool after his final game for the club.

Wijnaldum started Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday, a result that saw the Reds clinch a place in the Champions League next season.

The Dutchman was substituted to a standing ovation with just 12 minutes remaining.

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He was also given a guard of honour by his Liverpool teammates and the club’s staff and presented with a special gift.

Wijnaldum confirmed after the game that he is leaving on a free transfer when his contract expires next month.

“The people in Liverpool have shown me love during the five years,” he told Sky Sports.

“I will miss them. I hoped to have played many more years for the club but unfortunately things went differently.

“I have to start a new adventure. I didn’t sign somewhere else.”

Although Wijnaldum insists that he has not signed a pre-contract yet elsewhere, Barcelona are red-hot favourites to sign him.

It was reported in multiple places in the Spanish media earlier this season that he had already agreed a deal with Barca.

The former Newcastle man is greatly admired by Barca boss Ronald Koeman, who made him a key player of his whilst coach of the Netherlands national team.

However, Koeman’s position as manager of Barcelona is not secure into next season after a disappointing campaign.

Barca’s financial situation is also precarious as they are €1.2 billion in debt, although they are expected to make a number of free transfer signings this summer – with Sergio Aguero also set to arrive.

Wijnaldum made 237 appearances during his five years at Liverpool, playing a key role in the 2019 Champions League win and 2020 Premier League title success.