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'We negotiated with Barcelona for four weeks' - Wijnaldum on turning down Camp Nou for PSG 'project'

19:05 BST 12/06/2021
Wijnaldum Barcelona PSG GFX
The midfielder says he was in talks with the Spanish side for four weeks but could not come to an agreement before the French side made their offer

Georginio Wijnaldum says he chose to join Paris Saint-Germain instead of Barcelona because the French side were faster in making an offer and he was convinced by the project.

Wijnaldum had been linked with a move to Camp Nou for months as his contract at Liverpool neared its expiration.

But PSG swooped in and announced they had signed him this week .

What has been said?

Wijnaldum thought a reunion with ex-Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman at Barca was imminent for a long time until PSG's offer came in. 

“It was a difficult choice. We negotiated with Barcelona for four weeks, but we did not reach an agreement," Wijnaldum said at a press conference.

"PSG were just quicker and their project spoke to me more. To be honest, I thought I was joining Barcelona because at the beginning they were the only interested club.

"PSG and Barcelona are both truly great clubs, and both are clubs where I would have liked to play. I wanted to make my decision before the start of the Euros and in the end I chose PSG.”

Why did Wijnaldum join PSG?

The 30-year-old has committed to a three-year deal with the Ligue 1 giants.

He explained on Thursday after the move was confirmed that coach Mauricio Pochettino played an important role in convincing him to join.

"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," he said.

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

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