Memphis Depay has talked up his transfer link with Barcelona, acknowledging any player would want to play for the Catalan giants.
Speculation around Barca’s interest in the Lyon forward has been particularly strong since Depay’s former Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman arrived as the club’s new coach in August.
Depay remained with Lyon when the transfer window closed in early October, but his contract expires next year.
While Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has insisted he will not sanction a deal in January, as he is not prepared to miss out on European football for a second successive season, Barca may opt to test his resolve as the Ligue 1 side face missing out on a transfer fee.
Failing to earn a move to Barca for this season does not appear to have impacted Depay negatively, however – he has been involved in eight goals (five scored, three assists) in Ligue 1 this term, a figure only Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe can match (seven goals, four assists), while he is level with Leo Dubois for the most goalscoring chances created (27).
Depay continues to stress his focus is on Lyon and the Netherlands, though he did not shy away from a desire to play for Barca.
“Who wouldn’t like to go to Barcelona? It’s a top club,” he said after wearing the captain’s armband in the second half of the Oranje’s 1-1 draw with Spain on Wednesday.
“We’ll see what the future holds for me. Barca is one of the biggest clubs and everyone would like to play there, but I’m focused on my club and the national team.”
— OnsOranje (@OnsOranje) November 12, 2020
With regards to whether a January move is an option, despite Aulas’ recent comments, Depay added: “I don’t know. The transfer window is not open.
“I don’t have the focus on that at the moment. I am training well and focusing on being a better player. There is a lot of speculation, but my head is not there at the moment.”
Depay’s last venture at one of Europe’s elite, Manchester United, did not go as expected, the forward struggling to adapt.
He was eventually sold to Lyon in January 2017, and it is fair to say he has rediscovered the form that made him one of Europe’s most promising young players at PSV.
Depay has set up 35 league goals since his Lyon debut on January 22, 2017, level with Angel Di Maria for the most in Ligue 1 in that time.
Similarly, Mbappe (110) is the only player to have been involved in more goals than Depay (83) across the same period.
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