During Paris Saint-Germain’s pursuit of Georginio Wijnaldum, the other club expressing significant interest was FC Barcelona. It appeared as though the Spanish club would come away with the play considering the connection the 30-year-old has with manager Ronald Koeman.
However, the French giants swooped in to take Wijnaldum from the La Liga side at the last possible minute. Many criticized Wijnaldum for choosing money rather than playing for Barcelona, but in an interview with RMC Sport, the former Liverpool midfielder set the record straight.
“It’s funny because I must admit it was a very difficult choice. I have supported Barça since I was young, I am a fan of this club. We were in negotiations with them and I had a good feeling but I was also negotiating with other clubs. PSG even arrived before Barça. We had just talked but it wasn’t really negotiations. But they returned after Barça’s interest. I spoke to Leonardo and then to Pochettino whom I had known from his time at Tottenham, where I had spoken to him once because he wanted to recruit me,” Wijnaldum said.
“At the time, I already had a good feeling about working with him. He explained to me the PSG project, the fact that they want to win more titles in France but also in Europe. He told me what kind of club it was. I told myself it was a good project and told them that I was open to listening to them. From there, the negotiations went very well and they did everything, really everything, to get me signed. They were faster in the negotiations and I had a good feeling about signing for PSG. It wasn’t about making more money here because the difference wasn’t that huge. I deny having chosen PSG for the money.”
Wijnaldum sur RMC : "Choisir entre le PSG et le Barça a été un choix difficile parce que je suis supporter du Barça depuis que je suis jeune".
— RMC Football Show (@RMCFootShow) July 22, 2021