By London correspondent Tony Hughes
Georginio Wijnaldum has revealed he held talks at Mauricio Pochettino’s house before deciding to join Tottenham.
The £25million Liverpool signing was invited to Pochettino’s home for summer talks and told his agent immediately afterwards that he was signing for Tottenham.
But Wijnaldum failed to agree terms with Spurs and joined the Merseysiders from Newcastle late last month.
Speaking to Dutch football magazine Voetbal International, as quoted by the Sun, Wijnaldum said: “I went to Mauricio Pochettino’s house before I spoke to Liverpool.
“After the meeting I told my agent ‘I’m going to join Spurs’. Pochettino is a terrific manager, if you look at the way his teams play. I was impressed with what he had to say.
“He set out his way of working and I was convinced he could improve any player no matter what age they are. His method gives players such specific duties they become better as a result.
“I saw Spurs as being a very good fit for me — but we were unable to agree financial terms with them.
“With hindsight, though, that was not a disaster.”
Former PSV Eindhoven star Wijnaldum hit 11 goals in 40 games for Newcastle last season but was unable to prevent Rafa Benitez’s side being relegated.
After the move to Tottenham fell through, the Holland international quickly agreed the terms of a Liverpool deal that the Daily Star report is worth £75,000-a-week.
Wijnaldum said: “Pochettino was terrific but then Jurgen Klopp made me feel even more relaxed. From the moment I first spoke with him I knew that I wanted to join Liverpool.
“I fell for Klopp — hook, line and sinker. He invited me to his house and before I was even inside he was asking me why I’d been on the bench last season.
“I explained it was a decision taken by Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez and he said he didn’t understand it.
“We then began talking and I got more enthusiastic by the minute. Klopp was just as energetic as he appears on TV.
“He radiated enthusiasm as he talked about matches and how he wants his team to play — and he struck me with his passion for the game.
“He said how English clubs like to leave things late with transfers but he doesn’t. And told me ‘If you want to join us we’ll put in a bid tomorrow’.
“I thought ‘Let’s see what happens’ but Liverpool duly phoned Newcastle the next day.”
Wijnaldum is expected to line up for Liverpool on Saturday in their lunchtime clash against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.
In other Tottenham transfer news, a club have hijacked Spurs’ midfielder deal after fee and terms agreed.