Memphis Depay to Barcelona? Lyon chief confident ‘world class’ forward will stay


‘World class’ Memphis Depay can be convinced to resist Barcelona and sign a new deal with Lyon when his contract expires in summer, insists French club’s chief Jean-Michel Aulas

  • Lyon captain Memphis Depay has long been linked with a move to Barcelona
  • The 27-year-old’s contract at the Ligue 1 side ends at the end of the season
  • Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas claims Depay could end up staying at Lyon 
  • Depay has 13 league goals and six assists for title-chasing Lyon this season 

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas is convinced that star striker and captain Memphis Depay will snub a move to Barcelona in favour of signing a new contract.

The Dutchman has been heavily linked with a move to Ronald Koeman’s side and is able to negotiate with the Catalans on a pre-contract arrangement, with his Lyon deal expiring at the end of June.  

Depay nearly sealed a move to Barcelona in the last two transfer windows but financial issues at the Spanish side scuppered the move both times. It was revealed in January that Barcelona’s debt is approaching £1billion. 

Memphis Depay (above) could end up staying at Lyon, says president Jean-Michel Aulas

Memphis Depay (above) could end up staying at Lyon, says president Jean-Michel Aulas

With this in mind, Aulas insists there is still a chance that Depay could remain at the Ligue 1 club.

The Lyon president told Le Progres: ‘Until the end we believe that he will renew for next season. Right now it is not something that is possible but why not?’

Depay has been the key man for title-chasing Lyon this season with 13 goals and six assists in 25 league appearances this season. In the French top flight, only Kylian Mbappe has more goals than the 27-year-old Dutchman. 

Depay has led the way for Lyon this season with 13 goals and six assists this season

Depay has led the way for Lyon this season with 13 goals and six assists this season

Aulas is convinced the Dutchman can stay despite his contract ending in a few months

Aulas is convinced the Dutchman can stay despite his contract ending in a few months

The forward also played a key role in Lyon reaching the Champions League semi-finals last season – beating Juventus and Manchester City on the way – but the club did not qualify for Europe this term due to a mid-table finish in the league. 

Now Depay is firing again for an ambitious side, Aulas was full of praise for the ‘world class’ Dutchman this term. 

Aulas added: ‘He is a great talent, world class. There are not many like him in the team. He brings solutions. I always wanted him to remain but our offers did not convince him. 

Barcelona, managed by Ronald Koeman (middle), have tried to sign Depay over the past year

Barcelona, managed by Ronald Koeman (middle), have tried to sign Depay over the past year

‘We helped him go to FC Barcelona but financially it was not possible.’

Lyon are currently lying in third place in the French top flight, three points behind leaders Lille and two behind last year’s champions Paris Saint-Germain. 

Barcelona, meanwhile, are nine points behind LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid and were beaten 4-1 by PSG this week in the Champions League last-16 first leg.