Barca to finally get their man?
A report in Spain suggests that a deal for Memphis Depay to move to Barcelona in the summer is all but done. Depay is out of contract next month, and has shown no intent to sign a new deal with Olympique Lyonnais, where he has managed 19 goals and 10 assists in his 35 league appearances this season.
MARCA claim that Depay has agreed verbally to sign with FC Barcelona for the 2021/22 season, and has even significantly reduced his wage demands, thought to be around £80,000-per-week at Lyon, in order to accommodate the move.
The Dutchman was linked with a move to Spain last summer, and had even agreed personal terms ahead of a proposed transfer, according to reports.
All hinges on Koeman
As has been widely reported, though, any potential deal for Depay hinges on the management of Barcelona. If Ronald Koeman is to stay in charge of the club, Depay would be seen as a key signing for the Dutch coach, who has also shown interest in compatriot Gini Wijnaldum, out of contract this summer, too.
However, as was reported here at 101 on Tuesday, the Barcelona hierarchy are thought to prefer a move for fellow free agent Sergio Aguero. If Koeman is to stay, the club will be accommodating of his wishes, though.
As things stand, it remains unclear exactly who will be in charge at Barcelona come the beginning of next season. Whilst Koeman may yet lead his side to a domestic double, a poor Champions League campaign, added to by concerns about his suitability with the club’s ethos, mean that the Blaugrana could pull the trigger regardless.
Were they to do so, it would pave the way for a return to the club for Xavi. This could, in turn, alter the transfer policy of the Catalan club entirely, leaving both Depay and Aguero searching for a move elsewhere.
Wingers on the move:
The addition of Depay or Aguero may see several players presently on the books at Barcelona placed on the transfer market. Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele are both deemed surplus to requirements, according to reports, whilst Philippe Coutinho’s nightmare stay at the Camp Nou may also come to an end, with Everton rumoured to be sniffing around the Brazilian.
With the Spanish club in significant financial difficulty, it would not be a surprise to see many of the high-earners depart, either on loan or on cut-price deals, in an attempt to balance the books. In that regard, the acquisition of either Aguero or Depay would look sensible business.
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