Lionel Messi's decision regarding his future at Barcelona could be one of the defining moments in the club's recent history for many reasons. One reason out of this pertains to the potential signing of their target from last summer, Memphis Depay, as per reports.
The Olympique Lyon forward is a player clearly rated and coveted by Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman, who openly admitted that he wanted to sign him last summer.
Due to the Catalans' failure to offload Ousmane Dembele at the time — who was linked with a deadline day move to Manchester United — Barcelona failed to vacate a slot to bring Depay in.
With 27-year-old Depay now set to become a free agent come summer, several clubs including French and Italian champions Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus have explored the possibility of signing him. Despite interest from home and abroad, the former Red Devils star is keen to reunite with his compatriot Koeman and will wait for an offer from BArcelona.
However, Depay's future could potentially be tied-in with Lionel Messi's decision. Much like the Lyon star, the Argentine's contract is set to come to an end come summer, allowing him to walk away from his boyhood club on a free.
The report claims that Koeman and Joan Laporta are set to conduct a meeting pertaining to transfer-related matters and decide on their targets. The outcome of this meeting, along with Lionel Messi's ultimate decision, could go on to define whether the Blaugrana end up signing Depay on a free transfer.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta's emotional message to Lionel Messi
Newly-elected Barcelona president Joan Laporta has made a plea to Lionel Messi to extend his stay at the Nou Camp beyond the summer transfer window.
Laporta, who endured an era-defining seven-year stint at the club between 2003 and 2010, has returned to the helm and hopes to oversee another successful spell with Lionel Messi at the heart of it. Addressing his future, the 58-year-old expressed;
"I will do everything I can to try to convince Leo to stay. He knows this. We will try everything because he is the best player in history and forgive me for saying this to you in front of everyone here, but you know how much I love you and how much we want you to stay."
Several rumours have suggested the six-time Ballon d'Or winner could be on his way out of the club after the best part of two decades, with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City closely monitoring his situation.