FOOTBALL

Depay: Lyon star "will stay" despite renewed Barça interest - Aulas

Barcelona are being tipped for a January move for Memphis Depay after Ansu Fati's injury, but Lyon's president is adamant the Dutchman will not leave.

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Depay 'will stay' at Lyon for rest of the season amid renewed Barca interest

Memphis Depay will not join Barcelona in January despite renewed interest from the LaLiga giants, says Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas.

Barcelona again linked with Depay after Ansu Fati injury

Barça were heavily linked with a move for Lyon forward Depay after former Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman took over in August, but the ex-Manchester United forward remained at the Ligue 1 side.

The Catalans are said to be looking to step up their efforts to sign the 26-year-old after Ansu Fati was ruled out for around four months with a knee injury.

Aulas on Depay: "He will stay"

Depay's contract with Lyon is set to expire in June and Aulas insists he will not be allowed to depart beforehand.

"Memphis is an exceptional player. It is him who is pulling the club, along with a number of other players," Aulas said on RMC.

"I was the first to say he would not go to Barcelona. Nobody listened to me during the transfer window because everybody thought he would leave.

"From the start, I told you, they will not leave because in a year when we were unfairly deprived of European competition, we absolutely have to make a success of the season. So, he will stay."

Depay enjoying fine 2020/21 season in Ligue 1

Depay has continued to perform in Ligue 1 despite failing to complete his move to Barça.

He has been involved in eight goals (five scored, three assisted) in the top flight this season, a tally that can only be bettered by Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappé (seven scored, four assisted).

Furthermore, no player has created more chances in Ligue 1 than Depay, who has a league-leading 27 alongside Leo Dubois.

Depay has set up 35 league goals since his Lyon debut on 22 January 2017, level with Ángel Di María for the most in the division in that time. Mbappé (110) is the only player to have been involved in more goals than the Dutchman (83) in the same timeframe.