Barcelona are facing a battle with a growing number of rivals to sign Lyon attacker Memphis Depay, who is a long-term target of Ronald Koeman’s.
Depay was pursued by Koeman in the summer when he took over as Barcelona manager but with the Catalan club counting the cost of the Covid-19 pandemic and unable to sell players such Ousmane Dembele, a move failed to emerge.
Now, according Sport, Italian giants Juventus and Roma have entered the race for the 26-year-old Holland international, who worked with Koeman when he was manager of the Dutch national side.
Lyon striker Memphis Depay is now wanted by Juventus and Roma, as well as Barcelona
The news will concern Ronald Koeman, who was keen to land Depay last summer
Koeman knows all about Depay’s qualities after working with him when he was Holland boss
Depay is in the final year of his Lyon contract and is open to a move. But Lyon are insistent they will not sell him in January, even though that would then mean they risk losing him on a free transfer at the end of the 2020-21 campaign.
‘Memphis is an exceptional player. It is him who is pulling the club, along with a number of other players,’ Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas said on RMC.
‘I was the first to say he would not go to Barcelona. Nobody listened to me during the transfer window because everybody thought he would leave.
‘From the start, I told you, they will not leave because in a year when we were unfairly deprived of European competition, we absolutely have to make a success of the season. So, he will stay.’
Barcelona are short of attacking options at present with Ansu Fati sustaining a knee injury
So far this season, Depay has scored five goals in 15 games for both Holland and Lyon
Depay has scored five goals in 15 games for club and country so far this season but considering three of those came in the first game of the season against Dijon, it would be fair to say he has largely found goals hard to come by in the 2020-21 campaign. Last season, he fired 18 in 26.
Barcelona’s urgency to sign a new attacker has been heightened recently after youngster Ansu Fati sustained a knee injury in the 5-2 win over Real Betis.
He needed an operation and is set to be sidelined for four months in what is a major blow to Koeman and his rebuilding job at the Nou Camp.
Source: Read Full Article