Ronald Koeman could be left fuming by Barcelona after his chief target’s move stalled with a Serie A switch looming large.
Back in August, Bayern Munich thrashed Barcelona 8-2 in the Champions League. The match served as a wake-up call for Barca after suffering a fourth consecutive year of humiliation in the Champions League. What followed was the sacking of Quique Setien as head coach and Eric Abidal from the position of sporting director. To take things forward, Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman was appointed as the manager of the club and was entrusted to carry out a rebuild and hopefully turn things around for the Catalan club.
Since then, the Dutchman has laid the groundwork for some of the plans he has for the club like the proper utilisation of Phillippe Coutinho, the departure of Luis Suarez, and the most recent one- joining the race for the signing of Memphis Depay from Olympique Lyonnais.
The 26-year-old displayed impressive performances across the 2019-2020 season, which were especially visible during the Champions League campaign of the Ligue 1 side. The former Manchester United player attracted a lot of suitors for himself, the Blaugrana being the most promising one.
Already having coached the player in the national team, Koeman is a fan of the OL superstar and would love to have him on his team. With Luis Suarez’s departure being almost certain, the role to fill in the team would have been cut out for him already. Depay’s versatility is obviously another massive asset.
However, according to recent reports, what seemed as a one horse race has drastically changed. Serie A club AC Milan have entered and apparently hold a better chance to sign the Dutchman than Barcelona.
This news comes after Koeman stated that the Spanish giants are being unable to gather funds for the signing of Depay. The Catalans have taken a major hit in their finances due to the coronavirus pandemic, and that has seriously damaged the chances for them signing the Dutch forward. Valued at 28 million euros, Milan is preparing a cash plus player deal, giving up Lucas Paqueta to the French side.
Depay’s contract ends in 2021, and he has no intentions of signing an extension and it remains to be seen whether Lyon’s star player would be joining forces with his former national team manager.