Free agents Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum are reportedly both “very close” to signing for Barcelona and have already agreed to join the Catalan giants in the summer.
The two Netherlands internationals are both set to sign three-year deals at the Camp Nou, and the only step left is “for the club to ratify the moves,” according to Diario Sport.
Coach Ronald Koeman, who worked with both players previously with the Netherlands national team, played a key role in the two players deciding to make the move to Barcelona. The duo will “accept salaries that don’t cause the club further financial issues.”
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Wijnaldum Coy on Barcelona Rumors
Liverpool midfielder Wijnaldum has been coy when asked about his future this week while with the Netherlands team for World Cup qualifiers against Turkey, Latvia, and Gibraltar.
Duncan Castles at the Sunday Times has reported the 30-year-old has already agreed a pre-contract with Barcelona, but the Liverpool midfielder insisted he had no news about his future yet.
“They will always talk about these things but as I’ve said on other occasions, I have no news still,” he said. “They say this in the media but I have no news. When there is I will talk about it, but there isn’t. I’m here now to talk about the games against Turkey, Latvia and Gibraltar.”
Transfer expert Fabzrizio Romano told the Here We Go Podcast that Barca is talking to Wijnaldum’s agent but it’s far from a done deal.
“They are talking with the agent, so we can say there is something. They are negotiating and Barcelona are so interested,” he said. “But at the moment nothing is signed and done because they have to plan for the future, they have to understand about the position of Ronald Koeman and then they will decide on certain players.”
Barca’s interest in Wijnaldum is a little surprising given the team hardly lacks for midfielders. Koeman already has Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Miralem Pjanic, as well as youngsters Riqui Puig, Pedri, and Ilaix Moriba available for selection.
Second Time Lucky for Memphis?
Rumors of a Barcelona move for Depay are nothing new. Indeed, the Lyon captain has admitted he came close to joining the club last summer. He told NOS that “the agreement was very close” but “certain rules stopped it.”
Koeman has also admitted he would love to have the 27-year-old at Barca. He said before the January transfer window that he would try to land Depay because “I would like to have him here,” as reported by Marca.
Depay has scored 15 times in all competitions for Lyon this season and also had a great record under Koeman for the Netherlands.
It certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to see Wijnaldum and Depay move to Barca as both players are out of contract and know Koeman well. Yet the club’s “absolute priority” reportedly remains Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland.
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