Georginio Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay are on Barcelona’s radar | BSR Agency/Getty Images
Ronald Koeman has placed Georginio Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay at the top of his Barcelona wishlist, with deals set to be pursued as soon as the club raises funding from elsewhere.
The Dutch boss took over from the sacked Quique Setien in the aftermath of the 8-2 mauling at the hands of Bayern Munich, tasked with stabilising a club that can only be described as an utter mess.
While the Lionel Messi situation rumbles on in the background, Koeman is making plans to add to his squad in the shape of two players he managed during his time in charge of the Dutch national side.
As per Dutch publication AD, both players are ‘close to an agreement’ with Barcelona, as the moves now merely await Koeman’s side raising funding from player sales and departures. Wijnaldum and Depay’s agents have spoken at length with Barça, with the players both keen on a move to Catalonia.
While Koeman’s familiarity with the pair has played a part in the interest, the length of both players’ respective contracts has too. Both have just one year remaining at their current employers, and their valuations are expected to be within the €10m-€30m bracket, which suits the cash-strapped La Liga side.
One slight sticking point for Barcelona is the future of Messi. AD state that his rumoured departure to Manchester City will earn the club anywhere up to €150m in transfer fees, this despite the latest murmurings from Spain indicating that the Argentine is fighting a losing battle and will stay at Camp Nou for another year.
Koeman knows Depay very well from his time with the national side | Soccrates Images/Getty Images
Funding has arrived in the form of Ivan Rakitic’s return to Sevilla for just €1.5m – although his wages off the bill make for more wiggle room – while Luis Saurez is nearing a Juventus switch having been told by Koeman that he is surplus to requirements.
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