Memphis Depay came close to joining Barcelona in the summer | Pool/Getty Images
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has said he will not allow club captain Memphis Depay to depart the club before his contract expires at the end of the season.
The Dutchman emerged as a priority transfer target for Barcelona in the summer following the arrival of Ronald Koeman as manager and departure of Luis Suarez.
Ronald Koeman was keen on replacing Luis Suarez with the Lyon skipper | Soccrates Images/Getty Images
Depay had agreed to reunite with former Netherlands boss Koeman in Catalonia, but the move broke down at the 11th hour with Barcelona unable to fund a switch after failing to get the likes of Ousmane Dembele off of their books.
The 26-year-old, though, remains hopeful of soon becoming a Blaugrana player and has refused to rule out a January switch to the Camp Nou.
Lyon president Aulas, however, is insistent his captain won’t be sold until he can exit on a free transfer following the expiration of his contract next June.
“I’m sure Depay will stay in the team because we have to succeed this season and we need to keep all our resources,” Aulas told Radio Monte Carlo (via Marca).
Jean-Michel Aulas believes Lyon are in for a successful season with Depay leading the way | JEFF PACHOUD/Getty Images
“I was the first to say that he would not leave for Barcelona.
“Nobody listened to me at the time during the window because everyone thought that he would leave…We absolutely have to succeed this season.”
Depay has started the 2020/21 campaign in impressive fashion, notching five goals and three assists in 678 minutes of Ligue 1 action.
Despite the Dutchman’s quick start, Lyon currently sit fifth in the league table and are already seven points adrift of unsurprising league leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
The 26-year-old has started the Ligue 1 season with eight goal contributions in ten games | PHILIPPE DESMAZES/Getty Images
Les Gones are looking to bounce back from a woeful domestic campaign last time out, and Aulas is confident about their chances with Depay leading the way this term.
“Lyon have an absolutely incredible opportunity to meet our goals in this campaign,” he said. “I believe that Memphis can bring the team into a dimension that everyone wants to see.”