Barcelona could sign top transfer target Memphis Depay for a bargain price of just €5 million in January as Olympique Lyon look to cash in on their captain.
According to a report from French publication L’Equipe, as relayed by Le10Sport, Barcelona have received a major boost in their pursuit of Olympique Lyon forward Memphis Depay ahead of the January transfer window.
Depay has been with the Ligue 1 outfit since January 2017, having moved to France after a torrid spell with Manchester United. Since joining, the 26-year-old has managed to resurrect his career, establishing himself as one of the best in his position in the French top-flight, while also going on to become the club captain for Les Gones.
Till date, Depay has featured 154 times for Lyon, bagging 62 goals and 47 assists. The Dutchman’s rise to prominence in France, coupled with Ronald Koeman’s appointment as the Barcelona manager in the summer, saw the Catalans line up a move to sign him up in the previous transfer window.
However, a move never materialised owing to the financial troubles that Barcelona are mired in currently. But, the scenario could be set to change in the winter window as Depay could be available in a cut-price deal next month.
The 26-year-old is in the final year of his contract with the Ligue 1 outfit. While the club were hoping to renew his deal, the forward has shown no interest in putting pen to paper on an extension. This has led to Lyon deciding to cash in on him in the January transfer window, rather than losing him for nothing at the end of the season.
And, it is being claimed that Les Gones could be ready to sell their club captain for as little as €5 million next month, handing Barcelona a major boost in their pursuit of the Dutchman.
Barcelona have endured a difficult season so far under Koeman with the manager yet to work out his best combination. The attacking unit hasn’t been firing on all cylinders with Antoine Griezmann failing to deliver once again, leaving the bulk of duty on the shoulders of Lionel Messi.
Even though Martin Braithwaite has done fairly well so far this term, it is quite evident that Barcelona need a quality operator in the centre-forward slot to fill in the vacancy left by Luis Suarez’s summer departure. And Depay, who can play anywhere across the frontline, can be the solution to the problem for the Blaugrana.
The 26-year-old has largely operated in a central role at Lyon and played in a similar position under Koeman for the Netherlands national team. He has been in good form this season, having registered eight goals and four assists in 16 games so far, and his availability on a bargain price surely makes him an enticing prospect for Barcelona.
There has been some interest in the Dutchman from Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain as well, which could pose an issue for the Catalans. However, Koeman’s presence in the hotseat does provide them with an advantage, considering the pair’s relationship from their days working together with the national team.