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Monday, October 19, 2020

FC Barcelona Reach Agreement To Sign Memphis Depay In January

FC Barcelona have reached an agreement to sign Memphis Depay from Olympique Lyonnais.

This is what is claimed by SPORT on Friday morning, though it remains unclear as to whether Barcelona have agreed terms merely with the striker, or also his current Ligue 1 employers.

Depay was among Ronald Koeman’s top targets in the recently closed summer window, with the Dream Team legend a fan of his work since the days he commanded the 26-year-old as the head coach of the Netherlands national team.

Barca badly needing a striker following the departure of Luis Suarez to domestic rivals Atletico Madrid, a deal for Depay fell through on deadline day after it emerged that they would have violated Financial Fair Play rules through paying his salary.

This means that despite offloading high-paid stars such as Suarez, Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal – whilst also selling Nelson Semedo to Wolves for €40mn – the Blaugrana need to get rid of another attacking player.

Last time round, this was supposed to be Ousmane Dembele, but whilst additionally refusing to sign on at the Camp Nou for another year, the Frenchman was reluctant to join Manchester United on loan.

With the Depay purchase almost over the line, it is believed that top brass will sit down with Dembele and his people in the coming weeks, and “make it clear that the best option for all parties is to agree on a transfer in January”, SPORT write.

Another forward that could be forced out is Martin Braithwaite, it is added, though the new number 9 in squad number is willing to stick around and try to win Koeman over.

Elsewhere, there are concerns that despite his qualities, Depay is not an out-and-out goalscorer, or ‘killer’ as goes the local term, in the vein of Suarez.

In better times, the original plan was to land Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez, yet huge losses incurred thanks to the coronavirus pandemic resulted in Barca being unable to trigger the release clause of Lionel Messi’s Argentine teammate.

Like Eric Garcia at Manchester City, though, Depay is a free man in June meaning he can be picked up for a cut-rate.

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