Arsenal are reportedly in the driving seat to secure the signing of Georginio Wijnaldum amid claims the player is very much open to a move to the Gunners.
Wijnaldum has had a rough time in the French capital after his free-transfer move last summer. He has made just 11 Ligue 1 starts and failed to convince Mauricio Pochettino he should be a regular starter. He has though featured more regularly lately in varying positions from left to right wing, as well as his favoured central midfield role.
And while he’s not ‘pushing’ to leave, PSG are aware of his unhappiness through comments the player has made in the media.
As such, sources close to the player are indicating that ‘the right opportunity’ would turn his head.
Indeed, the Gunners’ interest is well known to the player and his representative. Mikel Arteta’s side are in the market for a new central midfielder and Wijnaldum is one name they are considering.
Arteta and Co are, however, prioritising a move for Juventus’ Arthur Melo. Those talks have been slowly progressing but with the deadline now just six days away, Arsenal will hope to find a positive outcome soon.
However, any such problems could see Arsenal forced to turn to their Plan B – of which Wijnaldum is one.
Sky Sports detail Wijnaldum situation
Sky Sports are also pushing the rhetoric that Wijnaldum could end up signing for Arsenal before the window shuts.
Kaveh Solhekol told the transfer show: “The situation is Gini Wijnaldum is out injured at the moment. He’s not going to come out in public and say, ‘I want to leave PSG’, because you wouldn’t want to spoil your relationship with the fans.
“But what we’re being told is he would like to return to the Premier League. I’m not saying he wants to return today, this week or even in the summer, but he would like to return and we keep being told he would like to play for Arsenal.
“They’re a club he admired a lot when he was growing up. It’s definitely something that appeals to him.”
Solhekol, however, has teased that PSG will let Wijnaldum leave should they can bring in a replacement.
“If PSG were to sign (Tanguy) Ndombele on loan, would they let one of their midfielders go?
“Would Wijnaldum then become an option for Arsenal? We know Arsenal are looking for a midfielder.
“PSG have consistently said, ‘we don’t want him to leave’.”
However, it is understood that Mauricio Pochettino is open to his exit. With Marco Verratti, Danilo Pereira, Ander Herrera and Leandro Paredes all ahead of him as central midfield options, a firm offer from Arsenal could well see the player allowed to leave.
Rush can see Georginio Wijnaldum at Arsenal
Furthermore, former Liverpool striker Ian Rush also reckons a move to Arsenal will benefit Wijnaldum.
“I notice Gini Wijnaldum being linked with a move to Arsenal this week. I can see why, it makes sense,” Rush said, via Football.London.
“He’s an experienced midfielder and became a really valuable player in [Jurgen] Klopp’s Liverpool side. I had hoped he would stay at the club beyond last summer.
Arsenal are interested in Wijnaldum
Arsenal are interested in PSG midfielder Gini Wijnaldum.
“In hindsight, it looks as though he would have been better off staying at Liverpool. But he chose to take up the offer from Paris Saint-Germain. And, as we see all too often, the grass is not always greener on the other side.
“He’s not playing regularly in Paris but he’d definitely get more game time at Arsenal. They could use a bit of experience to complement what is already a good but young side.”
Arsenal, not Newcastle a good fit – Rush
However, Rush believes the Gunners are a far better fit for the 31-year-old.
“They could face some competition from Gini’s old club Newcastle though, who have a new-found wealth, and a lot of football decisions come down to money these days.
“If he does end up going back to Newcastle, you’d have to assume he’s only going there for financial reasons because they look like they’ll be playing Championship football next season.
“Arsenal would be a much better move for him in my opinion, even if it’s on lesser wages.
“They’re really going for the top four and they’re still in the hunt for a trophy. But if Georginio Wijnaldum has both options it will come down to either a football decision or a financial decision.”