Gini Wijnaldum is expected to leave Liverpool on the expiry of his contract this summer, but Barcelona may not be the only club vying for the Dutchman’s signature.
In the absence of Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Virgil van dijk, Wijnaldum is set to wear the captain’s armband for the Reds in this upcoming run of fixtures.
This comes despite the Dutchman entering the final six months of his deal earlier this year, and with no breakthrough on the horizon when it comes to an extension.
At this stage, it seems highly likely Wijnaldum will join the likes of Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne, Daniel Sturridge, Alberto Moreno, Emre Can and Lazar Markovic from recent years in leaving Anfield on a free.
Barcelona are widely considered his most probable next destination, but now French publication Le Parisien claim the 30-year-old’s availability will “strongly interest” Paris Saint-Germain.
PSG are presented as new suitors for outgoing Bayern Munich utility man David Alaba, but it is also mentioned in Frederic Gouaillard’s report that Wijnaldum is on a list of free agents the Ligue 1 club will consider.
This may come as no surprise given PSG have utilised the free agent market to bring in Rafinha, Ander Herrera, Gianluigi Buffon, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Lassana Diarra, Dani Alves and Hatem Ben Arfa over the past five years.
Furthermore, the presence of Mauricio Pochettino as manager points to a feasible interest in Wijnaldum, with the Argentine having held talks with the midfielder over a possible move from Newcastle to Tottenham in 2016.
Wijnaldum opted to join Liverpool after a similar conversation with Jurgen Klopp, but five years on he could link up with Pochettino in Paris.
Given his contract situation, and the issues separating him and his current club, it would make sense for Wijnaldum to head to PSG.
It is claimed he is looking for a wage befitting his status as one of the most important players within Klopp’s squad – having been earning the same, relatively low salary of £75,000 a week for the entire time he has been at Anfield – but also the stability of a lengthy deal.
But given his age, it is a difficult demand for Liverpool to agree to, as despite his remarkably consistent record of fitness, handing a player over the age of 30 a long-term contract – with a wage increase – is always a gamble.
PSG are more likely to provide the package Wijnaldum arguably deserves, and could present fierce competition for Barcelona if he does depart Merseyside this summer.