Throughout the summer, and honestly ever since Ronald Koeman became the new Barcelona coach, we’ve been hearing about the rumours of Memphis Depay making a switch to Catalonia. The 26-year-old forward was really close to a transfer in the previous window but ended up staying put at Olympique Lyon.
However, with the January window fast approaching, rumours started circulating again that Barça are still very much interested and will indeed get the deal over the line this time around. But in a rather surprising turn of events, Lyon’s president Jean-Michel Aulas talked to RMC over in France and put all the rumours to bed.
“Depay will stay at Lyon until the end of the season. We were knocked out of the CL semi-finals last year, but this year we want to go further, which is why Memphis will stay.”Jean-Michel Aulas | RMC
Of course, this doesn’t mean Barcelona won’t try nonetheless. After all, Koeman himself has admitted numerous times that the Catalans will look for transfers in the winter and besides, Depay being one of his priorities is the world’s worst-kept secret.
The forward’s contract is due to end in the summer so there is a chance he signs a pre-contract with the club in January and then arrives for free a couple of months later.
That, however, would go against Koeman’s wishes since he wants a new attacker to join during the winter transfer window already. This means that a pretty straightforward deal could indeed turn into a more complicated matter.
Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
Ousmane Dembélé talks Tuchel, Messi, Eto’o, Laporta
In an interview with BeIN Sports, Ousmane Dembele spilled beans on various topics ranging from football to personal life. The interview was conducted before yesterday’s Clásico.
The French winger is reportedly a player who the new president, Joan Laporta, admires a lot. Even during his campaign, the Catalan lawyer raised the issue of Dembele’s renewal. The club has invested heavily in Dembele and has finally started to reap results.
When asked the question about his contract renewal, Dembele explained: “My future? I still have a year left on my contract. There have been no discussions with the club, I’m happy and I feel good.
“A new president has arrived and I don’t really know him, but he is very close to the players. We’ll see how it goes.”
In all the reports that have come out and interviews given by the young players, all of them have mentioned that the club captain, Lionel Messi shares an exceptional with this new generation of players.
On the same lines the World Cup winner said: “Messi gives confidence to the young players in the team and helps us a lot. He gives me advice.”
Dembele is said to be liking his new role up top in the newly found 3-5-2 system by Koeman. He jokingly said in the interview that the dressing room now relates him to Samuel Eto’o, a former Barça legend: “As I now play up top, they call me Samuel Eto’o in the dressing room.”
The Barça winger had an excellent season at Dortmund which led to multiple European giants going into a bidding war for him.
His strike partner during his days in Germany was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, whom the Frenchman regarded as `his favorite teammate’. He also said that `Thomas Tuchel is his favorite coach’.