Jürgen Klopp’s hopes of keeping Gini Wijnaldum at Liverpool past the end of this season may have just taken another hit as a new transfer destination for the Dutchman has emerged.
Summer draws ever closer with the Reds midfield mainstay still yet to sign an offered extension on his expiring contract, and a reunion with ex-Netherlands manager, Ronald Koeman at Barcelona having been mooted for nearly a year. Nevertheless, Liverpool supporters had hoped that the Spanish giants’ worsening struggles both on the pitch and in the boardroom might have convinced the 30-year-old to prolong his stay on Merseyside into the twilight of his career.
However, French publication Le Parisien believes that Paris Saint-Germain and new manager Mauricio Pochettino are expressing “strong interest” in competing for the Dutch international’s signature on a free in the summer window. Last season’s Champions League finalists are on a markedly more positive trajectory than Barcelona, both competitively and financially at the moment, making Paris a much more attractive destination for a player in search of a last big contract.
Despite a reputation for lavish spending, the French champions have made a point of taking fliers on free agents, scooping up the likes of Ander Herrera and Dani Alves for a useful season or two on the backend of their careers. On the flip side, Liverpool have developed a habit of allowing talent to leave on free transfers, losing among others, Emre Can, Adam Lallana and Alberto Moreno in recent years without collecting fees.
What’s more, Pochettino possesses firsthand experience of the Reds ironman from his days managing Tottenham, the midfielder having scored against Spurs for both Newcastle and Liverpool. The Spaniard even went on to try bring Wijnaldum to London, meeting the player in the summer of 2016 but ultimately losing out to Klopp and Liverpool.
It therefore doesn’t look for good for the chances of Liverpool’s no. 5 continuing his stay at Anfield past the summer window. Wijnaldum has been a loyal servant of the club and has surely earned a sizeable final payday. In the absence of skippers, Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Virgil Van Dijk, the hope is that the Liverpool’s next-in-line captain can help lead his side in one last hurrah before the curtains fall.