Barcelona have pressed the panic button as they race to complete a deal for Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, despite intense competition from Ligue 1 rivals Paris Saint-Germain.
For many months, it seemed as if the 30-year-old would join La Blaugrana, but a late – and very costly – proposal from Les Parisiens has put the Catalan club on the verge of losing out on their long-term aim.
However, Marca says that Barça are not willing to abandon their chase of Wijnaldum and are contemplating increasing their offer in order to convince him to sign a contract. They are hopeful, though, that the Dutchman would reject a far more tempting offer in France and stick with his initial choice to join the Liga giants.
Barça have been after the Dutchman for around 12 months, and if he does arrive, he will become the club’s third free agent of the summer, joining Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia at Camp Nou.
For the most of the season, it was assumed that Wijnaldum would depart Liverpool at the conclusion of the 2020/21 season, having failed to agree on a new deal. His contract ends on 1 July, which means he is free to talk with other teams ahead of the next season.
Despite alleged interest from Bayern, it was thought he would sign for Barça, and Wijnaldum’s advisors had been at Barcelona’s offices for two days finalizing the terms of his deal with the club.
However, PSG’s unexpected bid threw everything into disarray, and the eye-watering sums involved naturally shook the versatile midfielder’s confidence.
Barça’s relative financial difficulties make it unlikely that they will be able to match Les Parisiens’ astronomical salary, but they are hoping that his connection to coach and fellow countryman Ronald Koeman, as well as the allure of playing at Camp Nou, will be enough to convince him to join them.
Renegotiating is a possibility for Barça if Wijnaldum need further persuading that the Catalan giants are the ideal match, but it is hoped he can be talked out of the necessity for more financial incentives.
The upcoming arrival of national teammate Memphis Depay, as well as the anticipated confirmation of Lionel Messi’s extension of his stay in Catalonia, might potentially prove decisive.