Memphis Depay opens up on failed Barcelona move

Lyon forward Memphis Depay has admitted his proposed switch to Barcelona was almost done, only for things to fall apart of late.

Ronald Koeman’s arrival at the Camp Nou first sparked links with Depay in August, and with the forward entering the final year of his contract, Lyon were willing to sell for the right price.

Depay has entered the final year of his contract / Xavier Laine/Getty Images

The move is believed to be dependent on Ousmane Dembélé leaving the club, with Manchester United touted as a possible landing spot for the Frenchman. However, the move failed to materialise, leaving Depay stranded at Lyon.

“The agreement was very close,” Depay told NOS. “We don’t need to go into all the details, but actually it was almost closed. Unfortunately, some rules stopped it.”

The rules in question are believed to be La Liga’s salary cap. Dembélé’s exit would have made a move possible, but it wasn’t financially viable when all was said and done.

Barcelona had hoped to offload Dembele / David Ramos / Getty Images

“What happened happened, that’s life,” continued Depay. “I have to focus again on Olympique de Lyon, to be important there and then we will see how things go. Nobody can predict the future. If I do well what I have to do, then I will continue to be interested and maybe then it will happen. It will happen.”

Barcelona will be able to negotiate a deal with Depay in January before sealing a free transfer in the summer, or they can choose to pay a lower fee to bring him in this month, and Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has made clear As he later admitted his disappointment at the idea of ​​Depay leaving for free.

“Above all, Barcelona will have to do a lot of psychological work,” Aulas told Lyon’s official website. “The president of Barcelona, ​​who I spoke to twice on the phone, didn’t see how things could happen.

Koeman was eager to link up with Depay / David Ramos / Getty Images

“Coach Koeman was hoping. Memphis tried to make a deal. I have a good relationship with him, I admire him a lot. He’s disappointed, but he’s not disappointed with OL, he’s disappointed with Barça. Knowing, he will do everything on the pitch to get to Barcelona later. Better yet, he can show Barcelona that he can still aim high.

“Rudy Garcia put body and soul into staying at Memphis. The next sale will depend on the results we have until December. We have to be in a good position so we can make the right decisions… I haven’t given up.” . On the idea of ​​extending it. But it seems difficult because so far he has refused.”

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