Lyon Manager Gives Memphis Depay Green Light for Barcelona Move



Depay has Lyon’s blessing to move to Barcelona | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Lyon manager Rudi Garcia has seemingly given his blessing for Memphis Depay to move to Barcelona this summer.

Ronald Koeman was instated as La Blaugrana’s new boss in the aftermath of the club’s Champions League humiliation against Bayern Munich, replacing the much-maligned Quique Setien in the hot seat.

The Dutchman has already begun making drastic changes at Camp Nou, including informing Luis Suarez that his services are no longer required at the club, while Ivan Rakitic has left for Sevilla.

Depay has emerged as one of Koeman’s key targets this summer, with discussions between player and club already taking place. Barça need to shift more current players to free up funds first, but the forward looks increasingly likely to swap Ligue 1 for La Liga.

With just one year left on his current deal, Lyon manager Garcia has had his say on the proposed transfer, revealing he would not stand in the way of any of his players moving to the Spanish giants. He even offered to drive Depay to Catalonia personally to help the deal come to fruition.

He told French outlet Telefoot: “Depay is a top player, a fantastic footballer, [one] who has just returned from a cruciate ligament operation. If he stays with us, we will be a much stronger team.

FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-LYON-DIJONGarcia and Depay reached the Champions League semi-finals last season | PHILIPPE DESMAZES/Getty Images

“If Memphis, like many other players in my squad, and there are quite a few, has the opportunity to play in a team that has been built to win the Champions League, I would drive him to Barcelona myself.”

The Frenchman did caveat his claims by highlighting the financial uncertainty at Camp Nou, insisting that the Lionel Messi situation has thrown a potential spanner in the works, and that no deal can be made until Suarez’s situation is resolved.

“They are talking about the interest in signing Memphis, but they also remember that Luis Suarez has not yet rescinded his contract with Barcelona,” he added. “There was also the small left-footed player [Messi] who wanted to leave but ultimately stayed – so there may not be room to take another player.”

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