Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 28 October 2020

Memphis Depay in race to complete move after 'reaching agreement with Barcelona'

Dutch forward could be set for reunion with former Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman

Memphis Depay, centre, helped Lyon reach the Champions League semi-finals where they lost to Bayern Munich. AP Photo
Memphis Depay, centre, helped Lyon reach the Champions League semi-finals where they lost to Bayern Munich. AP Photo

Lyon forward Memphis Depay could seal a deadline day move to Barcelona after agreeing terms with the Spanish club.

Memphis, 26, missed large parts of last season with a cruciate ligament injury but still scored 15 goals in 22 games across all competitions, helping Lyon reach the Champions League semi-finals.

After three years with the French side, the former Manchester United player, who has entered the final year of his Lyon contract, could be set for a reunion with his former national team manager, Ronald Koeman, who took charge at Barcelona this summer.

“[Memphis] has reached an agreement with Barcelona, we don’t hide that at all," Lyon sporting director Juninho said after Sunday's 1-1 draw with Marseille.

"Maybe he’ll go to Barca [today] but nothing is certain, nothing is certain. The player most likely to leave is Memphis but if he stays he’ll hopefully help us to recover quickly and win some games.”

Should Memphis leave Lyon before Monday's deadline, he will be the fourth first-team player to depart the Parc Olympique Lyonnais this summer. Burkina Faso forward Bertrand Traore has joined Premier League side Aston Villa, Brazilian full-back Rafael moved to Istanbul Basaksehir, and French winger Martin Terrier signed for Stade Rennais.

Lyon's transfer business has been headlined by the €20 million ($23.5m) arrival of Brazilian attacking midfielder Lucas Paqueta from AC Milan and Cameroonian striker Karl Toko Ekambi who made his loan from Villarreal permanent for €11.5m.

Barcelona, meanwhile, have seen a number of first-team squad players leave this summer, including Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic, Portuguese full-back Nelson Semedo, and Brazilian midfielder Arthur Melo.

The arrival of Serbian midfielder Miralem Pjanic for €60m from Juventus leads Barca's arrivals, while Portuguese winger Trincao, and American full-back Sergino Dest have also moved to the Camp Nou.

Arguably the club's most important piece of transfer business has been to convince captain Lionel Messi to stay for another season after the Argentine superstar handed in a transfer request.

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125 of the biggest summer transfers

Updated: October 5, 2020 12:38 PM

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