PSV Eindoven midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has revealed he does not intend to leave the Philips Stadion this summer, despite rumoured interest from Arsenal, Sky Sports understands.
Wijnaldum, who joined PSV from Dutch Eredivisie rivals Feyenoord Rotterdam for a reported fee of €5 million in the summer of 2011, has been handed the captain’s armband by manager Phillip Cocu following the departure of Kevin Strootman to A.S. Roma.
The Holland international, 22, has emerged as a transfer target for Arsenal, but is more than happy to stay at PSV, having promised the club’s technical director Marcel Brands he would not leave the North Brabant club at the end of the season.
“At the end of last season I promised in a meeting with the coach and technical director, Marcel Brands, that I would stay,” said Wijnaldum.
“This has nothing to do with the fact that I’m now captain. The point is that I have given my word.
“Clubs being interested in me is a sign that I’m doing well, but I’m happy with PSV.”
Since arriving in Eindoven in 2011, Wijnaldum — a true No. 10 — has bagged a stunning tally of 38 goals in 101 appearances in all competitions for PSV.
The Gunners are also reportedly tracking PSV starlet Zakaria Bakkali, who has already netted four goals this season, including a hat-trick on his home league debut against Eredivisie strugglers NEC Nijmegen.
Bakkali, a Belgium youth international, turned down an opportunity to join Manchester City after a number of sensational performances at the Nike Cup in 2011.
“A bunch of agents wanted to represent me after I was voted best youth player in the world at the Nike Cup at the age of 15,” Bakkali told Sport/Voetbalmagazine.
“I considered leaving PSV and even visited Manchester City to sign a contract there. But my dad convinced me not to leave and I signed a three-year deal with PSV instead.”
Sunderland sign Charis Mavrias
Sunderland have completed the signing of Greece international winger Charalampos “Charis” Mavrias from Panathinaikos F.C. for an undisclosed fee, according to the club’s official website, www.safc.com.
Mavrias, 19, has put pen to paper on a four-year deal at the Stadium of Light, becoming Paolo Di Canio’s eleventh signing of the summer.
The Greece international, valued at around £6 million, reportedly cost the Black Cats just £2.5 million due to the well-documented financial problems of Oi Prasinoi.
Mavrias, who is the second-youngest player to ever play in the UEFA Champions League, tallied six goals in 70 competitive appearances for Panathinaikos.
The 19-year-old winger could be on the bench for Sunderland at the weekend, with the Black Cats scheduled to face Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday.