For the past year, it’s been widely assumed that Georginio Wijnaldum would join FC Barcelona as a free agent if he and Liverpool couldn’t reach an agreement on a contract extension. It’s no secret that Barcelona’s manager, Ronald Koeman, is interested in reuniting with his Dutch compatriot, and Gini seems to be of a similar mind.
With no agreement reached and Gini saying goodbye to the club and its fans on the final day of the Premier League season, the safe bet was that he would sign a contract with Barcelona any day now. But, things are never that simple in football.
According to ESPN, the Catalan side is facing stiff competition for the midfielder’s signature, and may no longer even be the favorite to secure it. Apparently, Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain have swooped in and made a big enough offer to turn the Dutchman’s head toward the French capital.
The anonymous sources cited by ESPN claim the generous offer has Gini leaning towards a move to the French giants, and Barca is no longer confident they will be able to complete what many thought was virtually a done deal.
It should be noted that Liverpool released a list of players whose contracts they would not be renewing today, and Gini’s name was absent.
Now, the most likely scenario is that Liverpool still has their most recent offer on the table should Wijnaldum decide not to sign with Barcelona, PSG, or any of the other clubs reportedly chasing his signature. Thus, it would be foolish to publically announce they wouldn’t be renewing his contract no matter how minuscule their hopes actually are. Unfortunately, a return to Liverpool really does seem exceedingly unlikely.
We’ll have to wait and see if there’s any truth to these new reports, but given Liverpool’s recent history with Barcelona, many Reds will likely find it easier to cheer for Gini at PSG than they would at Barca.
Wherever he does finally land, it sounds like Wijnaldum is going to get every penny he is worth and then some, and he is most certainly going to sign with a club that will give him a chance to compete for major silverware, which is a thought that makes his expected departure easier to swallow.