Barcelona seem to have convinced Atletico Madrid to sign Dutch forward Memphis Depay this month rather than at the end of the season. Depay is set to be a free agent at the end of the season but could join Atletico this January.
Barcelona are in dire need of funds and working around the clock to offload some players. Over the summer, La Blaugrana relied on free transfers to sign several players but still forked out a decent chunk of money to be in the good books of La Liga. It was one thing signing the players, but a different ball game registering them.
Despite surviving the storm that almost enveloped them, Barcelona are still not out of the woods, as they are knee-deep in massive debts. They have tried to reduce their wage bill, including selling players surplus to requirements. Some players that have left the Nou Camp in the wake of the downsizing include Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Coutinho and Antoine Griezmann.
La Blaugrana is not yet through with managing its books, and Memphis Depay is the next in line to leave the club. The Dutch forward is in the final lap of his Barcelona contract, and the Catalan giants seem to have convinced Atletico Madrid to sign him this month rather than as a free agent.
Memphis Depay has had a torrid time at Barcelona as he has struggled to nail down a starting shirt. The Dutch forward saw his woes compounded by the arrival of Xavi Hernandez, who sees him as surplus to requirement. Depay had hoped to get more game time following the departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but he is so far down the ladder that he hardly got a chance.
Depay has been angling to move away from Nou Camp, and the opportunity seems to have arrived. Atletico was on his tail but was willing to wait till the end of the season when he could join as a free agent, but Barcelona may have convinced them to sign him now.
Reports suggest that Barcelona has sealed a deal with Los Colchoneros that sees Depay move to the Wanda Metropolitano for €4 million.
The two clubs reached an agreement shortly after Barcelona manager Xavi told Depay he would discuss his future with the club.
Following the announcement, Depay failed to show up for training after the statement by Xavi. The two clubs then reached an agreement. Fabrizio Romano first reported the deal was close to completion.
Earlier reports suggested that Yannick Carrasco would join Barcelona as part of the deal.
Depay has been interested in leaving Barcelona for close to six months without success. He turned down offers from Newcastle and Galatasaray last summer. The former Lyon forward was due to become a free agent in June, but Barcelona has accelerated his exit from the club.
Xavi spoke glowingly of the professionalism of Depay at a press conference.