‘We were nearly done. Unfortunately, certain rules stopped it’: Memphis Depay opens up on failed Barcelona move at end of the transfer window… as Lyon man admits a future switch to the Nou Camp could still happen
- Lyon captain Memphis Depay has revealed how close he came to joining Barca
- The French side were open to letting him seal a dream move but it collapsed
- Barcelona couldn’t afford Lyon’s reduced £23m asking price on deadline day
- Depay said the deal was ‘nearly done’ but will have to focus on playing for Lyon
Lyon forward Memphis Depay has admitted he came inches from joining Barcelona last week before his dream move collapsed on deadline day.
The Dutch star, captain of the French outfit, had been linked with the Spanish giants all summer and looked set to seal the transfer on the final day of the window, with Lyon reportedly dropping their asking price to £23million to get it done.
But cash-strapped Barcelona still couldn’t afford to sanction the move having failed to get Ousmane Dembele‘s hefty wage off their books – with the Frenchman declining a loan move to Manchester United.
Memphis Depay admitted his deal to sign for Barcelona was ‘nearly done’ before it collapsed
The Catalan side pulled the plug after winger Ousmane Dembele opted to stay with the club
The chain of events left former Red Devil Depay frustrated, but he insists he remains committed to Lyon – although he has left the door open to a possible switch to the Nou Camp in the future.
‘It is going as it should, that’s how I live life’, Depay said to the Dutch press, as reported by Metro. ‘I have to focus on Lyon again, be important and then we’ll see how things go.
‘Nobody can see into the future. If I just do my thing, interest will remain. Maybe it will work then. I have to switch that switch now.’
Depay opened the door to a future move to Barcelona with his contract expiring next summer
Depay would have linked up with his former Holland boss Ronald Koeman at Barcelona, and he said he came incredibly close to joining his first team squad before the Spanish side pulled the plug.
‘Yes, it was pretty close,’ he said. ‘We don’t have to go into all the details, but indeed we were nearly done. Unfortunately, certain rules stopped it. ‘I believe that everything in my life happens for a reason. If it has to happen, it will happen’.
Barcelona have been hit hard by financial implications caused by the coronavirus, but could snatch Depay up on a free transfer next summer when his Lyon deal expires.
The move would have reunited him with ex-Holland manager Ronald Koeman at the Nou Camp
Lyon will be particularly irked by Barca’s decision as they now look set to miss out on receiving a transfer fee for their talisman.
Depay bounced back from a disappointing few years at Old Trafford to become one of the most highly-rated wingers in Europe in Ligue 1.
In his four years with Lyon, he has scored 58 goals across 144 appearances, as well as securing the captain’s armband.