Barcelona have been given a boost in their bid to bring in Lyon captain Memphis Depay as a replacement for Luis Suarez.
Lyon coach Rudi Garcia has been asked about the transfer speculation and told Telefoot that he would not prevent Depay from leaving the Ligue 1 side if he were to move to a club capable of lifting the Champions League.
“I read the Catalan press this morning. They talk about Memphis, but they also say Luis Suarez hasn’t left yet. And there was also a small left leg (Lionel Messi) Who wanted to leave, but still stays. So maybe there is no room for another player.
“Memphis is a top player, a fantastic player who has just returned from cruciate ligament surgery. If he stays with OL this season, we’ll only be stronger. But if he gets a chance to play at a club that can win the Champions League, and he plays a lot for them next season, I’ll personally drive him there with my car, like many of my other players.”
Barcelona are “close” to a $30 million (€25m) deal for the 26-year-old Netherlands international, according to La Vanguardia. Depay is expected to be new manager Ronald Koeman’s first signing as Barcelona boss and will come in for Suarez who is expected to complete a move to Juventus.
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Depay or Lautaro Martinez For Barcelona?
Barcelona’s interest in Depay seemingly appeared after talks regarding a move for Inter’s Lautaro Martinez stalled. However, the Catalan giants are set to make one “final” push for the Argentine.
According to Goal, the 23-year-old striker “remains at the top Barca’s wishlist” and ahead of Depay because he is “seen as a complete center-forward in the precise mould the club are looking for.”
The Catalan giants are now ready to “test Inter’s resolve” with an offer for the Argentine who scored 21 goals in all competitions for Antonio Conte’s side in 2019-20.
Suarez Must Depart First
Yet Barcelona must first offload Suarez before they can bring in any new players. The Uruguay international has already been told he’s surplus to requirements at the Camp Nou by Koeman.
Guillem Balague at BBC Sport has reported that Suarez has agreed a deal with Juventus but does still have to negotiate his exit from Barcelona. The 33-year-old’s contract has one year left to run and will renew for one more season if he plays 60 percent of Barca’s games in 2020-21.
There is also another complication that could scupper a deal. Suarez also needs to become an Italian citizen in order to meet Serie A regulation. The club’s two overseas slots are currently filled by American Weston McKennie and Suarez’s former Barca team-mate and Brazil international Arthur Melo.