Barcelona are ready to put an end to their pursuit of Lyon star Memphis Depay, as they are no longer interested in signing the player in January, according to reports. Interestingly, the recent form of striker Martin Braithwaite could be the reason behind Barcelona's change of heart regarding Depay.
Memphis Depay was close to joining Barcelona in the summer, but a move failed to materialise for a plethora of reasons.
Ronald Koeman was eager to be reunited with his Dutch compatriot who had worked under him in the national team. However, Barcelona could not complete a deal, and Memphis Depay ended up staying at the French side.
The Dutchman has eight goals from 16 appearances for Lyon this season, and Barcelona were expected to return for him in the winter. However, the chances of Depay making the move to the Camp Nou in the January transfer window is waning by the day. That is because the Dutchman might no longer be an enticing prospect for the Catalans, thanks to the unexpected rise of Braithwaite.
Barcelona could sign Memphis Depay for free in the summer
In February 2020, Barcelona triggered Martin Braithwaite’s €18m release clause to sign the Dane as an emergency replacement for Ousmane Dembele, who had been sidelined with a long-term injury. While the player did not immediately lit up the Camp Nou, the former Leganes striker has chipped in with the goals this season, managing five from 15 appearances in all competitions.
That might have spurred Barcelona to rethink their transfer priorities ahead of the winter transfer window.
Memphis Depay was not the only player Barcelona are hoping to sign in January. A move for Manchester City’s Eric Garcia is also on the cards, with the former youth player interested in a reunion as well. However, it now appears that neither player may be arriving at the Camp Nou next month.
It has to be noted that both players are inching closer to the final six months of their contracts, which means that they could be available for free next summer. Barcelona will now hope that neither player signs a contract extension at their respective clubs between now and the end of the season.
Meanwhile, the fact that Barcelona have not received any concrete offers for Martin Braithwaite means that the Dane could be set for a prolonged stay at the Camp Nou. The player would like to build on his good performances this season and prove his worth to Barcelona.Published 27 Dec 2020, 23:43 IST