Georginio Wijnaldum shares what Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez said in final conversations, ahead of Liverpool move

Georginio Wijnaldum scores the third goal for Newcastle from the penalty spot

Liverpool signed Georginio Wijnaldum from Newcastle United last week.

Georginio Wijnaldum scores the third goal for Newcastle from the penalty spot

Georginio Wijnaldum has told the Liverpool Echo that Rafael Benitez did not encourage him to swap Newcastle United for Liverpool.

Benitez is fondly remembered at Anfield for the time he spent as manager of Merseyside club.

However, the Spanish boss put his own interests ahead of his heart when trying to persuade Wijnaldum to stay.

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez

The Dutch international said: “Rafa just said that Liverpool is a big club.

“The biggest thing he said was that he wanted to keep me for Newcastle.

“He didn't want to sell me but he said that if a great offer came in they would think about it. He wanted to keep me there.

“He didn't say: 'You need to go to Liverpool' because he wanted me to stay at Newcastle.”

Wijnaldum frustrated at Newcastle last season, with inconsistency plaguing his first term in English football.

Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates scoring his fourth in the win over Norwich

The attacking midfielder did still show his value at St. James’ Park, as he scored 11 goals over the Premier League campaign.

Newcastle had wanted to keep hold of Wijnaldum, but when Liverpool bid £25 million they deemed the offer to be acceptable.

Wijnaldum has now joined up with his Liverpool teammates for the first time during their tour of America.

Newcastle, meanwhile, have moved on to try and replace Wijnaldum - with Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Alex Pritchard said to be of interest in the Daily Mirror.

Newcastle United's Georginio Wijnaldum in action with Swansea's Angel Rangel

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