Memphis Depay will do everything it can to force a move to Barcelona in January after being disappointed this month, according to Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas.
The Dutch international was a key target for Barça coach Ronald Koeman, as he sought to sign a player capable of playing as number nine or in supplementary attacking positions, with Luis Suárez having been allowed to move to Atlético de Madrid.
Lyon’s sporting director Juninho confirmed on Monday that Depay had reached an agreement with the Catalans, but no agreement was reached between the clubs before the transfer deadline.
Aulas says Depay is frustrated at not being able to move, but believes a transfer will be possible in January.
“Ronald Koeman had given Memphis hope,” he told reporters Wednesday. “I spoke twice with the president’s right hand; He told me that he did not see how things could happen. Today, Depay is disappointed, but not with Lyon, more with Barcelona.
“He’s going to do everything he can to find himself in a position to move there in the January transfer window. It’s not up to me to make that decision, it’s Juninho ”.
Aulas said Lyon manager Rudi Garcia “fought with everything he had” to keep Depay at the club despite the forward having less than 12 months to fulfill his contract.
An extension of that agreement has not been ruled out, but it seems unlikely that an agreement will be reached with the player.
“I have not abandoned the idea of extending his contract, but since he has always said no, it seems difficult to do,” said Aulas.
Depay’s 2019-20 season was hampered by a knee ligament injury sustained in December, but he still managed nine goals and two assists in 13 Ligue 1 games.
The former Manchester United player also scored six goals in eight Champions League games in Lyon’s surprise run to the semi-finals, where they lost 3-0 to Bayern Munich.