Barcelona are not clear about signing Memphis Depay. At the moment, with the transfer window about to open, the arrival of the Dutch forward is less likely to happen than it was previously.
There are doubts at Barça about investing in another attacker because of the number of forward players already at Camp Nou. The form of Pedri, some good performances from Martin Braithwaite and the return of Ousmane Dembele from injury — plus the fact that Ansu Fati will return in a couple of months — make it tough to find space for Depay.
A deal has not been completely ruled out, but the club have other objectives and other priorities, such as the arrival of a centre-back.
Barça coach Ronald Koeman asked for Depay in the summer. The Dutch coach wasn’t sure about Dembele and wanted a versatile striker who could play a variety of positions, including as a No.9. An agreement was reached with Lyon and the player but the deal could not be completed due to Barça’s salary restrictions.
The idea was to revisit the operation in January.
Koeman has not changed his mind but the club have put the brakes on. The cost of the deal would only be around €5 million as Depay is out of contract in the summer but his salary costs also need to be considered. Barça could easily incur the costs. But they feel they have enough players in attack and will focus on solving other problem areas.
The only possibility which could lead to a change of plans is if someone else is sold in January. Braithwaite was a possibility but the Dane doesn’t want to leave and seems to have earned Koeman’s faith. Dembele’s another because he’s into the final 18 months of his deal and hasn’t shown a desire to renew.
But Dembele doesn’t seem willing to leave mid-season — just as he wasn’t in the summer — and would prefer to run his contract down.
We will have to see how it all ends. Depay is waiting because it’s his dream to play for Barça. But Juventus and more recently Paris Saint-Germain have all contacted the player’s representatives with a view to doing what would be a low-cost deal. If Barça want him, he will surely be available.