FC Barcelona was looking forward to signing a striker this season after the new boss Ronald Koeman arrived at Camp Nou. Koeman signed with Barcelona just a month back after Barcelona’s humiliating defeat against Bayern Munich in UCL. The Dutch coach wanted to sign his former companion Memphis Depay from the Ligue 1 giants Olympique Lyon. Depay has played under Koeman’s management for the Netherlands national team. It was also being reported that the Catalans and the player have agreed to the personal terms. However, now reports are out about Barcelona not being able to afford the amount required to be paid for Depay.
Will Barcelona be able to sign Memphis Depay this summer?
Barcelona were keen on signing a striker this season after Koeman revealed Luis Suarez is not a part of his new plan at the Camp Nou. In the pre-season friendlies that Barcelona have played, Koeman did not even include Suarez in the squad. So, we know for sure that Suarez has no future at Barcelona. This means that the Blaugranas are in a desperate need of a striker. Earlier, the Catalans were interested in bringing the Argentinian striker Lautaro Martinez from the Italian giants Inter Milan. The former has a good bonding with Lionel Messi and has a lot of potential at the club. But, the price that Inter were asking for was too much. As a result, Barcelona had to drop the idea of signing him.
Then came in the Koeman asking the management to make a move for Memphis Depay. Depay plays for the Netherlands national team and the Ligue 1 giants Olympique Lyon. The Dutchman is an excellent and versatile player. He can play as a striker, second striker, and a left-wing forward. Koeman has a great chemistry with him and knew how to use the player. With Depay in the squad, the Barcelona coach would have two options as strikers: Griezmann and Depay. However, in the friendly matches, we have seen him use Braithwaite and Messi as a striker too. But, the sad news is that Barcelona are in no position to sign Depay.
What did the Lyon President say about the deal?
The Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas stated that Barcelona cannot afford the Dutchman. He said that the Barcelona management had made it clear that they will not be able to fund the deal with cash due to the COVID crisis that they are facing right now. As a result, they were looking for a trade deal. But, the only players that Barcelona were ready to offer were Vidal, Semedo, and Umtiti because the rest of the players are a part of Koeman’s plans. There were rumors earlier that the Catalans have also agreed to personal terms with the player. They were being reported to offer £27.5 million for a contract of two seasons. However, the Lyon president has denied all these claims.
Earlier, Barcelona was also being linked to sign Wijnaldum who is another compatriot of Koeman from the Netherlands. But, the Liverpool midfielder made it clear that he has no intention of leaving Liverpool. It came as a shock since Barcelona already has many options in the midfield. Now, it will be interesting to see how Koeman lines up for the first match of their campaign against Villareal on 27th September. They have tried various formations in the pre-season friendlies but it still remains a mystery as to which players the Dutchman will be calling for the first game of the season.