Atletico Madrid have reportedly reached an agreement with Barcelona over the transfer of Memphis Depay.
The Dutch international is set to join Diego Simeone’s side for €3 million with variables that could see the price rise to €4 million. Memphis is set to be the replacement for Joao Felix who was recently sent out on loan to Chelsea.
The agreement between the two sides brings an end to a couple of days of negotiations where Barcelona were interested in Yannick Carrasco only to see their interest rebuffed by Los Colchoneros who were not going to let the Belgian go the other way.
Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez was asked about Memphis during his press conference prior to their Copa del Rey match against Ceuta.
“Memphis? There’s no news about Memphis,” Xavi said. “I’m counting on him and he’s our player. I don’t have any news. He’s an extraordinary guy, a very good professional.”
While Xavi was very tight-lipped during that press conference, it was clear something was going on as Memphis was not present during team practice.
Atletico Madrid held firm on their refusal to include Carrasco and to not pay a significant transfer fee. In the end, they got the player they wanted to without having to give up much at all.
As for the Catalans, they got something out of a player whose contract was set to expire at the end of the season and a player who wasn’t in Xavi’s plans despite his words. By all accounts, he was sixth choice among the forwards.
Memphis arrived to Barcelona on a free transfer from Ligue 1 side Lyon back in 2021. He was a player wanted by then manager Ronald Koeman and was an important player under the Dutchman. He became less so when Koeman was fired and Xavi took over because, initially, he was out injured.
The arrivals of Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha meant his playing time was going to be limited unless he outperformed not only those two but Ousmane Dembélé, Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres as well. Again, injuries kept him out during that final month before the start of the World Cup.
Since returning, Memphis only started in Barcelona’s Copa del Rey match against Intercity where he failed to impress.
He becomes the fourth player in recent history to join Atletico Madrid from Barcelona. The other three include David Villa, Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann, with the first two winning LaLiga with Los Colchoneros.