Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has confirmed that a deal to bring Memphis Depay to the club on a free transfer is close to completion.
ESPN has reported Depay is close to a move to Barcelona, and Koeman confirmed to Voetbal International that the transfer has almost been finalized. He said, “It’s almost done. It hasn’t been signed yet, but almost. I wanted him last January, but if it does happen now, that’s great”
Koeman’s words come just hours after Depay spoke about his future at a press conference while on international duty with the Netherlands. He told reporters, “Everyone knows that I have been negotiating with Barcelona for some time. I want to play with Ronald Koeman. Now we have to wait, but there will be news soon.”
Depay worked with Koeman previously with the Netherlands national team and thrived under the coach. The forward scored 11 goals and contributed 11 assists in 18 games under Koeman, according to Squawka Football.
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Koeman Talks Wijnaldum Decision
Koeman also spoke about Barcelona missing out on midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum to Paris Saint-Germain. The Dutchman had also seemed set for a move to the Camp Nou but opted for the French capital instead.
“That also had to do with the situation at Barcelona,” said Koeman, referring to the club’s financial issues. “Another party has intervened. I talked to Gini about it and it was up to him to make the choice.”
Wijnaldum has since offered some insight as to why he chose PSG over Barcelona after leaving Liverpool, as reported by Marca.
“It was difficult. I was negotiating with Barcelona for four weeks. PSG were a little quicker and the project they had appealed to me. It was a tough decision because Barcelona were very interested in me,” he said. “They’re two big clubs and you’d love to play for both but, in the end, I chose PSG. It was a relief to be able to make the decision before the tournament.”
The midfielder signed a three-year deal with PSG after the club offered double the salary that was on offer at Barcelona and after receiving a call from coach Mauricio Pochettino, according to Fabrizio Romano at The Guardian.
More Signings After Memphis?
Depay will become Barcelona’s fourth signing of the summer if he does, as expected, arrive at the Camp Nou. The Dutchman will join Eric Garcia, Sergio Aguero, and Emerson Royal in making the switch to the Catalan giants.
More signings could be on the way too. President Joan Laporta has said the club is hoping to bring in more players on swap deals, as reported by Diario Sport.
“We will find the formula for Financial Fair Play,” he said. “There will be more player entries. Not via a normal transfer, but we want to do many exchanges [swap deals] with other clubs where there are many players that interest us.”
There’s already been plenty of transfer activity at the Camp Nou this summer, and Laporta looks to have more work ahead of him as he aims to overhaul the squad ahead of the 2021-21 campaign.