Tagged in: international

Paris Saint-Germain beat Barcelona, Bayern Munich to Georginio Wijnaldum signing

Paris Saint-Germain have beaten Barcelona and Bayern Munich to the signing of Georginio Wijnaldum from Liverpool on a free transfer.

Wijnaldum, 30, has agreed a three-year deal with PSG after deciding to run down his contract at Anfield, which concludes at the end of June.

“Signing for Paris Saint-Germain is a new challenge for me,” Wijnaldum said. “I’m joining one of the best squads in Europe and I want to bring all my desire and commitment to this ambitious project. Paris Saint-Germain have proved how good they are in recent years and I am convinced that together, with our supporters, we can go even further and higher.”

The Netherlands international had previously reached an agreement to join Barca. His agents met with the Catalan club’s president Joan Laporta at the end of May and a medical had been penciled in.

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Barca’s interest in Wijnaldum dates back to last summer, when Ronald Koeman made him a target after being appointed as the club’s coach.

However, as first reported by ESPN on Friday, PSG made a late play to hijack Barca’s move for Wijnaldum.

Sources close to the negotiations told ESPN that the Ligue 1 side were willing to double the terms agreed with Barca, while a phone call from coach Mauricio Pochettino also helped persuade Wijnaldum to change his mind.

Bayern Munich also held talks with Wijnaldum, who informed the German club and Barca last weekend that he had decided to sign for PSG.

The midfielder becomes PSG’s first signing of the summer as they look to strengthen after missing out on the league title to Lille and a semifinal Champions League exit to Manchester City.

Wijnaldum, who is preparing for the European Championship with Netherlands, played for Feyenoord and PSV Eindhoven before making the move to England with Newcastle United in 2016 for around €15 million.

After Newcastle were relegated from the Premier League a year later, he joined Liverpool on a five-year deal for a fee of €25m.

He helped Liverpool collect the Champions League in 2019, famously scoring twice in the semifinal victory over Barca, and was part of the side which won the Premier League a year later.

During his five-year stay at Anfield, he also won the UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup. In total, he made 237 appearances for Liverpool, scoring 22 goals.

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Wales’ Giggs steps back from international side following arrest for alleged assault

The Wales Football Association has confirmed that Ryan Giggs will not be involved in the squad’s upcoming international camp after he was arrested by police on Sunday following a disturbance at his home relating a woman.

While Giggs has denied all allegations of assault, the Wales FA said in a statement that it was “mutually agreed” he wouldn’t be involved as the squad prepares for its international matches, which includes a clash versus the USMNT on Nov. 12.

“The Football Association of Wales and Ryan Giggs have mutually agreed that he will not be involved in the upcoming international camp,” the statement said.

“Our agreed immediate priority is preparing the team for the upcoming international matches. Robert Page, with Ryan’s support, will take charge for the next three matches against the USA, Republic of Ireland and Finland supported by Albert Stuivenberg.”

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Former Manchester United winger Giggs, 46, was due to announce his Wales squad on Tuesday ahead of the international break but the appearance was cancelled following allegations of a disturbance at his home.

“Mr Giggs denies all allegations of assault made against him,” Giggs’ representatives told ESPN. “He is cooperating with the police and will continue to assist them with their ongoing investigations.”

Giggs has been released on bail while enquiries are ongoing.

“Police were called at 10.05 p.m. GMT (6.45 p.m. ET) on Nov. 1, 2020 to reports of a disturbance at an address in Worsley,” a spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police stated.

“A woman in her 30s sustained minor injuries but did not require any treatment. “A 46-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of section 47 assault and section 39 common assault. He has since been bailed pending further enquiries. Enquiries are ongoing.”

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LPGA shanghai tournament canceled due to virus

The LPGA Tour on Wednesday canceled its Shanghai tournament after China said it will not hold most international sports events this year due to coronavirus.

LPGA Shanghai, acquired last year by American world number two Danielle Kang, had been programmed for Oct. 15-18 but has been scratched “given the current health concerns and significant travel restrictions”, the tour said in a statement.

“(We) very much look forward to returning to Qizhong Garden Golf Club, Shanghai in 2021,” it added.

It now appears inevitable that the men’s prestigious $10.5 million World Golf Championship-HSBC Champions, due to take place two weeks later in Shanghai, will also be canceled.

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Almost all leading international sports events in China this year, including WTA and ATP tennis, have been scrapped as the country tries to prevent imported virus cases.

The Formula One Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, which was postponed in April, also looks doomed.

Men’s and women’s professional golf has made a tentative return in the US and Europe, but with no crowds and under strict virus-prevention protocols.

The LPGA Tour 2020 campaign was shut down by the pandemic in February after just four events, two in Florida and two in Australia. 

It teed off again only two weeks ago with back-to-back tournaments, without crowds, in Ohio, both won by last year’s Shanghai champion Kang.

The leading women’s tour moves its bio-secure bubble to Scotland this week for the Scottish Open in North Berwick followed by next week’s first major of the season, the British Women’s Open at Troon.

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