Memphis Depay: Lyon forward scores stunning free-kick
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Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has decided to let Martin Braithwaite leave once Memphis Depay arrives, reports claim. The Lyon star has been in sublime form this season. And he’s now poised to move to Catalonia when the transfer window reopens at the end of the campaign.
Barcelona want to sign Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund this summer.
But, regardless of what happens in their pursuit of the Norway international, they’re eager to bring Depay to Catalonia as well.
The Netherlands international has impressed for Lyon this season, scoring 14 goals and registering nine assists in Ligue 1.
Barcelona boss Koeman previously managed his compatriot at international level and thinks he can be a key asset to the club next term.
And Sport say that, with Depay being primed to join, Koeman is ready to sell Braithwaite.
The Denmark international arrived in the January transfer window of 2020 and scored one La Liga goal from 11 matches last season.
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Yet he’s continued to struggle, scoring just twice in La Liga so far in the current campaign.
And Barcelona are now looking to offload him as a result, with Depay’s arrival key to that transfer exit actually taking place.
Koeman wanted to land his countryman last summer but, in the end, Lyon priced them out of a deal.
Depay will be a free agent at the end of the season, however, and that means Barcelona can sign him without having to go through a difficult negotiating process.
Should the move go through, it will complete quite a turnaround from the 27-year-old.
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Many wrote him off after he left Manchester United under a cloud in January 2017 having struggled under both Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal.
But Depay has been a substantial asset for Lyon over the years and, now, is set to move to Catalonia when the transfer window reopens.
Meanwhile, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has opened up on Depay – and insisted he ‘hasn’t got a bad word to say’ about the former United star.
“I haven’t got a bad word to say about him. I will respect his decision. If he goes to a bigger club than Lyon, he’ll have made the right choice,” said Aulas.
“If he stays, it will mean we’ve been a great adventure for him and we have won something.
“He’s been doing a good job as captain. He talks a lot with other players in the squad.
“In recent years we have helped Memphis to reach and improve on the level he was at in the 2014 World Cup, where he announced himself.”
Speaking earlier in the season, Koeman opened up on the club’s failed pursuit of Depay back in the summer.
“Everything was ready but due to La Liga rules we knew we had to sell a player first,” Koeman confirmed.
“In the end, that didn’t happen.
“We wanted Memphis because he’s a great player and because he’s got qualities that I think we lack, including an ability to play with depth in his game.”
Depay isn’t Barcelona’s only transfer target for the summer window.
They’re certainly in the mix to land Haaland, with the Catalan giants recently holding talks with Mino Raiola about a move.
And they’d love to sign Georginio Wijnaldum and Eric Garcia, whose spells at Liverpool and Manchester City appear to be winding down.
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