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Georginio Wijnaldum has admitted he was "fighting back tears" as he left Liverpool, but also hinted that there are unexplained issues behind his departure.
His contract now expired, the Dutch midfielder is leaving Liverpool after five years to join Paris Saint-Germain. However with Jurgen Klopp praising him, Wijnaldum expressing his love for the club and most Reds supporters keen to keep the player, it begs the question: why is Wijnaldum leaving Liverpool?
Back in November, the 30-year-old told reporters to put questions over his future to the club, rather to himself. "Just ask Liverpool those questions," he said during an international break. "Don't they answer?"
Now, as his signing with PSG was confirmed, Wijnaldum thanked Liverpool fans for their support - and added that they "deserve to know the story behind" why he left.
"It's really special," said the player of his time at LFC, per the Mirror. "The fans have sung my name. Week in, week out, they saw I was giving 100% to give everything for this club.
"I'm fighting against tears right now. The people in Liverpool have shown me love during the five years. I will miss them, you know... We will see what I will do in the next couple of weeks. I will rest a little bit then go to the national team.
"I will have to look at my story and how everything went. The fans deserve to know the story behind it."
- Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) June 10, 2021
It's those final words that will pique the curiosity of Liverpool fans who've wondered why such an integral player, so apparently settled at the club, did not sign a new deal.
After his final game for the club against Crystal Palace, Wijnaldum told Voetbal International via Sport Witness: "There are many supporters who ask me why I didn't just accept the offer from Liverpool to extend my contract.
"But of course, it's not just that. It's about much more than that. There are things happening behind the scenes that you cannot influence as a player. I will explain that after the tournament because now only Orange [Netherlands] counts.
"What I do want to say is that the people at the training complex, the staff of the club, and my fellow players would have liked to keep me.
"I did tell them a bit more. After that, they understood my decision completely. That is important to me."
There are certainly no issues between the player and Klopp, as the Liverpool manager spoke glowingly of Wijnaldum's exit after the Premier League season ended.
"It's very emotional for me because I lose a friend," said Klopp. "That is how it is, but it's normal for these kind of things to happen. I am really sure that he will find a great place. Each club that is interested in him should call me and ask about him, then you will definitely take him because I couldn't be more positive about what he did here...
"He scored incredible goals - Barcelona, Cardiff, Middlesbrough - so many top-class performances. And now, it looks like the time is over.
"Everything will be fine, nobody can take away our memories from us, we will share them together. I told him that after the game, he sees it the same way. Goodbyes would not be tough if the time you had together was not worth it. It's really tough because we had a great time together."
All imagery: PA Images
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