Memphis Depay nears Barcelona move after fee agreed with Lyon
Out with the old, in the the new
Memphis Depay is edging closer to joining Barcelona from Lyon after a fee was reportedly agreed between the two clubs.
Transfer insider Fabrizio Romano reports that Barcelona will pay €30 million for Memphis, with personal terms agreed days ago. The 26-year-old will join on a four year contract.
Koeman has been keen to sign Memphis ever since he was hired by Barcelona this summer, replacing Quique Setién. The former Netherlands manager struck up a positive relationship with Memphis in the Dutch squad and wants him to lead the line at the Camp Nou, replacing Luis Suarez, who has been told to find a new club.
Suarez has been at Barcelona since 2014, scoring 198 goals in that time, but Koeman wants to make a statement and bring in a younger model. There is just one problem - Suarez has a year left on his contract and no transfer has yet been agreed, meaning he could face spending a season in the stands. Juventus have been closely linked with the Uruguayan striker, but a passport issue relating to the number of non-EU spots in their squad means he would have to pass a language test to gain Italian citizenship to make the move happen.
Memphis meanwhile, will be remembered by most Premier League fans as a Manchester United flop under Louis Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho. His two year spell at Old Trafford was not his best spell, but since leaving for Lyon, he has matured, improved and become captain of the Ligue 1 club.
He spent the majority of the 19/20 season out injured after sustaining an ACL tear, but returned for their Champions League run to the semi-finals, beating Juventus and Manchester City en route to the last four.
How Memphis fits in alongside Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi is not yet clear, but it seems Koeman has got his new number 9, and the others will have to fit around him.