On 06/09/2021 at 10:14 AM CEST
Javier Giraldo – Amsterdam (Special Envoy)
“The best contract of his career & rdquor ;, highlights ‘De Telegraaf’. “The hierarchy in Europe is changing; PSG is going up and Barcelona is going down & rdquor ;, argues the ‘Algemeen Dagblad’. These are some of the reasons given by the Dutch press when it comes to explaining the sudden turn of the script of the ‘Wijnaldum case’, the Dutch footballer who will sign for PSG when he had a practically closed agreement with Barça.
The captain of the Dutch team will sign until 2024 with Paris Saint-Germain. He will arrive free, after ending his contract with Liverpool. Barça had its incorporation very advanced (its agent, Humphrey Nijman, visited the Camp Nou offices on a couple of occasions), but when PSG broke in, the Barça club refused to enter the auction. And he ended up resigned to losing the operation.
One of the key men in this change of scenery was Leonardo, PSG sports director: he held parallel conversations with Nijman to finish convincing Wijnaldum by way of a much higher salary than the one offered by Barça.
Negotiation sources have revealed that PSG convinced the Dutch midfielder – Premier and Champions champion with Liverpool – with a juicy contract of ten million euros per year. The figure is unaffordable for Barça.
The PSG does not repair in expenses
PSG has shown that it spares no expense. His dream continues to be to lift the Champions League (he was a finalist in 2020 and a semi-finalist in 2021) and for this, he has invested 530 million euros in the last four seasons. In the case of Wijnaldum, his investment goes to the player’s token and bonus, who ends his contract with Liverpool on June 30.
Money, but not just money
The economic aspect was fundamental, but not the only one. If Frenkie de Jong bet on Barça in 2019, rejecting a greater financial offer from PSG, it was because he wanted to play for Barça.
Y because I felt that special bond that many Dutch feel -or felt- for Barça, for historical reasons. De Jong also used to spend his holidays on the Costa Brava and every summer he visited the Camp Nou.
Wijnaldum does not spend the summer on the Costa Brava or dream of playing at the Camp Nou. On more than one occasion he has confessed that he does not usually watch games on television and that football is simply a way of making a living.
For several generations of Dutch, Barça represented the quintessence of football. But that idea is changing. Not only because the Barça team has only played one of the last ten Champions League finals, or because in 2020 they conceded a 2-8, or were eliminated by PSG in the round of 16 just a few months ago.
Loss of hierarchy
To that loss of hierarchy the fact that Barça has not won the League for two seasons is added. Messi’s brilliance still lingers, but more and more young Dutch people are being dazzled by figures like Neymar or Mbappé, both at PSG.
The Dutch press highlights that in recent years, PSG has gained strength in Europe at the same rate that Barça has lost. It also shows that in the negotiation with Wijnaldum, Barça came from a position of weakness (both sporting and economic), while PSG adopted a much more positive and seductive stance, embodied in Leonardo.
In 2015, PSG I had already asked about Wijnaldum, but the Dutchman preferred Newcastle, after leaving PSV.
The conclusion drawn by the Dutch media is that Wijnaldum has gone to PSG for money, but not just for money.