Barcelona: Koeman on Messi's future after defeat
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Barcelona have reportedly closed the signings of Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum ahead of the summer transfer window. The Catalan giants are determined to improve their squad as they look to challenge for the Champions League under Ronald Koeman next term. And it could be a case of two in and one out, with Miralem Pjanic being tipped for the exit door.
Barcelona have been in resurgent in recent times, emerging as Atletico Madrid’s closest challengers for the La Liga crown.
Lionel Messi has risen to the fore, with the Argentina international looking noticeably happier at the Nou Camp in recent times.
While Messi’s future continues to be shrouded in uncertainty, the Catalan titans are planning ahead anyway.
And Sport claim Barcelona have now closed agreements with Depay and Wijnaldum, with the pair set to arrive at the end of the campaign.
Depay was written off by many after being cut loose by Manchester United back in the January transfer window of 2017.
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Yet the Netherlands international has rebuilt his career at Lyon, establishing himself as one of the best players in Ligue 1 in the process.
Just this season alone, Depay has scored 14 goals and registered nine assists from 30 matches.
And though the 27-year-old has been linked with Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain in recent times, he’s now set to join Barcelona instead.
Back in the summer, when news of the club’s interest in the former Manchester United star first surfaced, it was suggested they’d have to sell before they buy.
But this reportedly won’t be the case, with Barcelona having enough money in the bank to land him now.
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With Wijnaldum, the Dutchman recently insisted he hadn’t agreed to join Liverpool.
However, he now seems set to join Barcelona instead – with the La Liga side now prepared to sell Pjanic at the end of the campaign.
The Bosnia international only moved from Juventus back in the summer, arriving with Arthur Melo heading in the opposite direction.
Yet the 30-year-old has struggled for minutes this term and isn’t in Koeman’s plans for the future.
Barcelona think selling him should be straightforward, with clubs in Italy and France interested in snapping him up.
And Koeman’s side should now be bolstered next season, news that will likely please Messi behind the scenes as he awaits a grand show of ambition.
Meanwhile, speaking earlier in the season, Depay insisted he hadn’t made a decision on his Lyon future with his current deal set to expire this summer.
“To be honest, we have a great team here,” he said.
“I don’t know what will happen next year. I’m an OL player, the captain, and I’m here to win things, games and be important for the team. This is my main goal.
“If I start thinking about my future, I might lose my focus. I am 100 per cent with OL. What will happen in the future, we’ll see. That’s what I’ve always said.
“I can’t say anything about [Barcelona]. I’m here now, a lot of clubs might be interested.”
Depay also expressed his gratitude, admitting he was lucky to be playing football while the coronavirus crisis rumbles on
“It’s crazy how quickly the year has gone by. I woke up today to realize that it happened a year ago,” he said.
“Today I’m able to play and I’m happy for it.
“I’m happy to play football, especially at a time when people cannot work, earn money and support their families because of the pandemic.”
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