FC Barcelona on Saturday confirmed that they have reached an agreement to sign Dutch international striker Memphis Depay from Olympique Lyon on a two-year contract.
“FC Barcelona and Memphis Depay have reached an agreement for the player to join the club once his contract with Olympique Lyonnais is at an end.
“The player will sign a contract until the end of the 2022/2023 season,” a message on the club’s website stated.
The striker will have a release clause of 500 million euros and becomes Barca’s fourth signing of the season.
Striker Kun Aguero and central defender Eric Garcia both arrived for free after their contracts with Manchester City expired.
Defender Emerson Royal is the third signing and he has arrived at the Camp Nou after two-year on loan at Real Betis.
Depay is joining Barca coach Ronald Koeman, who has previously worked with him in the Dutch national team.
The club had previously tried to sign him in the January transfer market.
The arrival of Depay and Aguero means FC Barcelona now have a surplus of strikers in the club, even though Lionel Messi has still to sign a new contract.
Barca’s delicate economic situation means they will now look to lower their wage bill by selling Martin Braithwaite and perhaps even Antoine Griezmann.
Who Is Memphis Depay?
Memphis Depay (Moordrecht, Netherlands, 13 February 1994) started out at his hometown club VV Moordrecht. He was just nine when he joined Sparta Rotterdam, and from there moved on to PSV Eindhoven, which is where he made his Eredivisie debut.
Coached by former Barça man Phillip Cocu, Depay soon became one of the biggest stars at Eindhoven.
His performances in the Dutch championship attracted attention abroad, and it was Manchester United who eventually secured him. At Old Trafford, and playing under Louis Van Gaal, he spent a season and a half before heading for Olympique Lyonnais in January 2017.
It was in France that he made his breakthrough. Highlights of his five and a half seasons included reaching the Champions League semi-finals and the Coupe de France Final in 2019/20, losing the latter on penalties to PSG.
He quickly became a regular for the Holland national team, where he has played under Ronald Koeman, and was in the side that finished third at the 2014 World Cup. He has already got on the scoresheet at the current Euro 2020.
Born in Holland but with Ghanaian father, he is a versatile forward. He tends to play on the left and can also work as a center-forward, but far from being a target man, he also likes to play a part in the build-up. He oozes skill and has a fine shot, and his physical strength makes him hard to deal with in the one-on-one.
His 22 goals made him top goalscorer in the Dutch league in 2014/15, his highest-scoring season to date. But he came close to matching that tally in his final year in Lyon, scoring 20 times and finishing second in the charts. Where Depay truly excels is with assists – delivering 12 last season in France.
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