Manchester United’s buy-back clause for Lyon winger Memphis Depay could be about to be triggered as Barcelona are set to bid for the Dutchman.
The Catalans’ top transfer target for this summer was always going to be Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez, but his €110 million (£100m) release clause has become way out of their reach following the COVID-19 crisis.
Dutch international manager Ronald Koeman became Barcelona’s new head coach this week and reports are already circulating as to the transfer targets he has in mind.
And according to AS.com, the Dutch boss is keen on being reunited with the player he has managed for Holland, who is seen as a much more affordable target than Martinez.
‘Depay, currently at Olympique de Lyon, stands out for his speed and physical strength,’ AS reports.
‘Depay has a contract until 2021, so Barcelona values him at a maximum of €40 million [£36m], taking into account that next season he would be free and could come for free.’
The Blaugrana will also be taking into account Lyon’s precarious financial position, which will almost certainly force them into selling players this summer.
The relevance this has to United is that the buy-back clause in the contract signed with Lyon in 2017 allows for the Red Devils to have first option on the player by matching any accepted bid.
Memphis was brought to United by Louis Van Gaal but after a promising start seemed to lose his way, with rumours circulating that he had become distracted by a rock star lifestyle.
He was quickly offloaded by José Mourinho but has since matured, scoring 54 goals and providing 43 assists in 126 games for Lyon. At 26, he was flying last season until a cruciate knee ligament rupture ruled him out for several months.
Historically a left-winger, Memphis has also reinvented himself as a centre forward and so provides two options positionally.
Whether Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a fan and whether the player would want an Old Trafford return are two unknowns. However, at £36 million Memphis certainly offers extremely good value for money and could prove to be a tempting option for the Red Devils should Barcelona’s bid be accepted.