Depay will do everything to force Barcelona move in January, says Olympique Lyon president Aulas
Barcelona failed to sign Memphis Depay before Monday's transfer deadline, but it appears a move the the winter transfer window could be on the cards.
Memphis Depay will do everything he possibly can to force a move to Barcelona in the January window after being left disappointed that a move to Camp Nou failed to materialise this week, Olympique Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has claimed.
The Netherlands international was a key target for Barça coach Ronald Koeman as he looked to sign a player capable of playing as a number nine or in supplementary positions in attack, with Luis Suárez having been allowed to leave for Atlético Madrid.
Depay had verbal agreement with Barcelona
Lyon sporting director Juninho confirmed on Monday that Depay had agreed terms with the Catalans, but no deal was brokered between the clubs before the transfer deadline. Aulas says Depay is frustrated at not being able to move but believes a January transfer will be possible.
"Ronald Koeman had given Memphis hope," he told reporters on Wednesday. "I spoke with the president's right-hand man twice; he told me he couldn't see how things could happen. Today, he [Depay] is disappointed, but not towards Lyon, more towards Barcelona. He is going to do everything he can to find himself in a position where he moves there in the January transfer window. It is not up to me to make that decision, it is Juninho."
3 - Since his first game in Ligue 1 in January 2017, Memphis Depay 🇳🇱 has scored 3+ goals in the same L1 game three times, only Kylian Mbappé (4) has done better. Captain. #OLDFCO pic.twitter.com/ZXHmZXi5Rg— OptaJean (@OptaJean) August 28, 2020
Depay able to leave on a free in 2021
Aulas said Lyon coach Rudi García "fought with everything he had" to keep Depay at the club despite the forward having less than 12 months to go on his contract. An extension to that deal has not been ruled out, but an agreement with the player appears unlikely.
"I have not abandoned the idea of extending his contract, but as he has always said no, it looks difficult to do," Aulas said.
Depay's 2019-20 season was hampered by a knee ligament injury sustained in December, but he still managed nine goals and two assists in 13 Ligue 1 matches. The former Manchester United man also scored six times in eight Champions League games in Lyon's surprise run to the semi-finals, where they lost 3-0 to Bayern Munich.
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