Barca’s new No 9? Ronald Koeman ‘ramps up his pursuit of Memphis Depay… with the Manchester United flip a cheaper alternative to long-term target Lautaro Martinez at Inter Milan’ with his price-tag set at £17m
- Barcelona have long been in pursuit of Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez
- However the club have been put off Martinez’s value as a result of covid-19
- The club are now keen on signing Memphis Depay who is seen to be cheaper
- The Dutch forward’s contract at current club Lyon expires next summer
With the Uraguayan set to leave the Nou Camp, Ronald Koeman is very keen on bringing a new striker into the club.
It was thought Barcelona had found their man in Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez, who has long been a target for the club.
Ronald Koeman is a big fan of Memphis Depay from his time coaching the Dutch national team
Mundo Deportivo have reported that Depay is a cheaper alternative to Lautaro Martinez
However Mundo Deportivo are reporting that the Lyon forward is seen as a cheaper alternative to the 23-year-old Argentinian.
The report states that Barcelona had agreed a deal in principle with the Inter Milan striker.
However due to the economic context from the coronavirus crisis and the Serie A club’s ‘unwillingness’ to sell him for less than €111m (£98.9m), this has meant that talks have stopped between the two sides.
Mundo Deportivo state that Depay’s ‘football virtues’ fit with what Koeman wants as part of his plans at the Nou Camp.
Barcelona believe they can get Depay for £17million this summer, as the Dutch forward has just one year left on his current contract.
Both men know each other very well from Koeman’s time working as the Dutch national coach where Depay played an integral part of his set-up.
Koeman believes Depay fit his plans at the Nou Camp and could replace Luis Suarez at the club
The 26-year-old has impressed many during his time at Lyon where he has scored 57 goals in 139 appearances, helping the club to the Champions League semi-finals last season after beating Juventus and Manchester City.
The Dutch forward has started the 2020-21 season brightly with Lyon, as he scored in his side’s 4-1 win over Dijon last weekend to get their Ligue 1 campaign off to the perfect start.
Depay was touted as a potential coup at Manchester United and it was predicted that his close relationship with former Holland coach Louis Van Gaal would bring him and the club success at Old Trafford.
Before Lyon, the Dutch winger was at Manchester United where he was branded as a flop
However, Depay scored just seven goals in 53 appearances for the Red Devils as he fell out of favour with Van Gaal and his successor at United, Jose Mourinho.
Despite a return to form at Lyon, Depay’s goalscoring numbers are weaker to Suarez’s, with the Uruguayan forward scoring over 20 goals in each of his last eight seasons at Barcelona and Liverpool.