Memphis Depay: Lyon forward agrees to join Barcelona


Memphis Depay
Memphis Depay helped Lyon reach the Champions League semi-final last season

Lyon’s Netherlands forward Memphis Depay has agreed a contract with Barcelona and could move before Monday’s deadline, says the French club’s sporting director Juninho.

The former Manchester United player, 26, was left out of the starting XI for Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Marseille.

“He has reached an agreement with Barcelona, we don’t hide that at all,” said Juninho.external-link

*Meanwhile, defender Eric Garcia could also rejoin Barca from Manchester City.

The Premier League club would allow the 19-year-old centre-back to move if they receive a reasonable offer, but are also prepared to let the Spaniard leave on a free transfer next summer.

Garcia is out of contract at the end of this season and has told City he will not sign another one.

City signed Portugal defender Ruben Dias from Benfica for £65m on 29 September.

Lyon’s Depay has scored 58 goals in 144 games since signing for the Ligue 1 club from Manchester United in 2017.

Depay had a disappointing spell in the Premier League at United after being signed by compatriot Louis van Gaal for £31m in 2015, scoring seven goals in 53 appearances.

Were Depay to complete the move he would again link up with former Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman, who took over at Barcelona this summer.

“Maybe he’ll go to Barca [on Monday] but nothing is certain,” added Juninho.

Analysis

BBC World Service’s John Bennett

Depay scored 15 goals last season in just 22 games, during a campaign interrupted by a serious injury.

You wonder whether the move will be dependent on forward Ousmane Dembele’s future though.

Do Barca have to get rid of him before being able to bring in Depay? Manchester United have been linked with the France international.

Meanwhile, back at Lyon, Juninho also confirmed that they are in advanced talks to sign Mattia de Sciglio on loan from Juventus.

That would free up some funds for Juve to make a signing of their own on deadline day.

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