‘Who wouldn’t want to play there?’: Memphis Depay publicly teases move to Barcelona, with Lyon star ‘willing to FORCE a January switch’ rather than wait for a free transfer next summer as Ronald Koeman plots another bid
- Memphis Depay is reportedly ready to force through a move to Barcelona
- Ronald Koeman failed in his bid to sign the winger from Lyon in the summer
- Barcelona are in a state of financial turmoil amid the coronavirus pandemic
- The Dutch international admitted any player would want to join the Catalans
Memphis Depay is reportedly ready to force through a January transfer to Barcelona after admitting any player would want to join the LaLiga side.
Barca boss Ronald Koeman was desperate to sign the Lyon winger when he arrived at the Nou Camp in the summer but the Catalans – who are in deep financial turmoil with £720m of debt – struggled to raise the funds to complete the transfer.
The cost of the coronavirus pandemic as well as the failure to sell players like Ousmane Dembele, whose move to Manchester United broke down, prevented Depay’s move to the Catalans from going through.
Memphis Depay is reportedly willing to force through a January move to Barcelona
Ronald Koeman tried to sign the winger from Lyon in the summer but a move broke down
The winger is in the final year of his contract at Lyon, meaning Barca would be able to sign him on a free transfer next summer.
However, Mundo Deportivo report that Depay is ready to force through a move in January rather than waiting until he is a free agent.
Barca’s urgency to strengthen their attack has increased due to Ansu Fati’s injury with the forward set to be on the sidelines for four months after undergoing surgery on a knee injury.
Barca’s urgency to sign another attacker has increased following the injury to Ansu Fati
Depay was asked about the links to LaLiga side following Holland’s 1-1 draw with Spain on Wednesday and admitted any player would love to join the Catalans.
‘Who wouldn’t want to play there? It is one of the best teams in the world,’ he said.
‘Everyone would like to, but I’m not thinking about that.
‘About Barca, I don’t know. The transfer market is not open. I have no head on that.
‘I’m trying to do my best, to do good performances to become a better player. There is a lot of speculation about it ‘.
The winger has scored five goals in all competitions for Lyon this season and also has three assists. Last season he managed 15 goals and two assists.
Depay worked with Koeman when the latter was manager of the Holland national team from February 2018 to August this year, when he left to join Barca.
The Dutch international admitted that any player would want to play at the Nou Camp
The winger is still Koeman’s top transfer target but Barca are currently in financial turmoil with the club yet to reach an agreement with players over pay-cuts.
Players took a 70 per cent pay-cut back in March to ensure non-playing staff received all of their wages with the pandemic shutting down the sport.
The club are now looking to slash wages by 30 per cent to stave off fears of bankruptcy but have made no progress with the squad, despite ‘several days of intense meetings’, they revealed on Wednesday.
A statement read: ‘Today, November 11, after several days of intense meetings, and the negotiation was exhausted, the parties have ended the consultation period, without reaching an agreement.’
Players’ wages consumed around 61 per cent of the club’s £940million revenue before the Covid-19 pandemic, with captain Lionel Messi the current highest earnerat the club as he pockets around £500,000 per week (£26m per year).
The statement detailed that while current negotiations have been ‘exhausted’, both sides have agreed an extension to the deadline, running until November 23.