The twists and turns in Memphis Depay’s transfer saga just do not end. Both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have their reservations about the move, but it is the Catalan board who seems to be hesitant to commit to his sale.
Initially, the idea was welcomed in Barcelona as it would not only see the outcast depart but also open the door for a reinforcement to arrive. As the days progressed, it came to light that the Catalans were against selling him to Atletico Madrid as they were a direct opposition.
If reports from Fabrizio Romano are to be believed, it is almost certain that Depay will leave Barcelona in January. The decision has been made and the player is eager to try a new experience at a new club.
The forward is willing to join Atletico Madrid, who are the frontrunners in his pursuit. Nothing has been agreed upon between the parties yet, but negotiations better the La Liga giants are already ongoing.
The need for a new forward at the Civitas Metropolitano is real and seen as the top priority. The departure of Joao Felix leaves a void in Diego Simeone’s attack, one that Depay would fill perfectly given his profile.
His contract with the Blaugrana ends in the summer, thus making him available for a subsidised rate in the ongoing window. Yet, the operation may not be as cheap as one expects as Barcelona will only let him go if they recover enough space to sign a replacement.
With close to half the season beyond us, the 28-year-old has played just two games for the Azulgranas in La Liga. His most recent appearance for the club came against CF Intercity in the Copa del Rey, when he recorded one blocked shot and hit the woodwork once in addition to playing four key passes.
Reports suggest the possibility of Yannick Carrasco being included in a possible swap deal with the Dutch international and it remains to be seen if negotiations proceed down that track.
Atletico Madrid will try to sign Arsenal, Liverpool target for free in the summer
Atletico Madrid saw a lot of movement during the January transfer window as they saw several players leave, while also bringing in a couple of new faces in.
But one player who they tried to sign and could not is Borussia Monchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram.
Indeed, according to AS, was on the top of director Andrea Berta’s list for the winter window as he is in the final six months of his contract. But, Gladbach asked for a fee of around €10-12 million to offload him, which prompted Atletico Madrid to move for Depay instead.
But the report states that Thuram continues to be on the agenda at the Civitas Metropolitano and Berta will try to sign him again in the summer transfer window.
However, there will be intense competition for the 25-year-old’s services given that he will be available for a free transfer at the end of the season.
Juventus and Inter Milan have shown an interest in Thuram, but there are a lot of clubs in England wishing to sign him up.
Indeed, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are all said to be gunning for the French forward’s signing while more clubs could join the list of his suitors as days progress.
So, it will be important for Atletico Madrid to achieve a top-four finish in La Liga and qualify for the UEFA Champions League for next season if they wish to attract a player of Thuram’s capability and calibre.
The 25-year-old has netted 13 goals and set up four more in 19 matches across all competitions. His ability to play anywhere across the frontline makes him an attractive prospect for interested parties such as Atletico.
But given the intense competition, Diego Simeone & co. will need to act swiftly if they wish to sign Thuram.