Aulas plays down Depay’s exit talks

    Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has pointed out that Barcelona don’t have the economic capacity to fund Memphis Depay’s transfer

    Depay has emerged as one of Barcelona’s top priorities for the summer transfer window after Ronal Koeman took over the managerial reins at Camp Nou.

    The Dutch tactician is reportedly keen to land his countryman as part of his efforts to overhaul a squad he inherited from Quique Setien.

    The two know each other well from the Netherlands national team, and Koeman believes the former Manchester United flop would be an upgrade to his current attacking options, without Lionel Messi, of course.

    Although some recent reports have suggested that Barcelona and Lyon have found an agreement for Depay to move to La Liga, Les Gones bigwig Jean-Michel Aulas has played down such talks.

    “The president of Barca indicated to me on Sunday that Barca were suffering a lot from the COVID crisis and didn’t have the possibility to make an offer. #memphis,” he wrote on Twitter.

    Depay, who has entered the final 12 months of his contract at the Groupama Stadium, would reportedly cost Barcelona in excess of £20million.

    However, the coronavirus lockdown has put the squeeze on Barca’s finances. Therefore, the Catalan giants need to offload some of their deadwood before making any new purchases.

    Depay has enjoyed quite a renaissance in Ligue 1 following a dismal year-and-a-half stint at Old Trafford.

    Since joining the French side in summer 2017, the 26-year-old forward has re-established himself as one of the most highly-rated players in Europe.

    During his three-year spell at Lyon, the ex-PSV youth academy graduate has racked up 57 goals and 43 assists in 140 outings in all competitions.

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