Barcelona forward Memphis Depay has been linked with an exit from the club since last summer, as Barcelona brought in strong competition up front. Yet manager Xavi Hernandez has publicly declared that he wants Memphis to be part of his squad.
After the recruitment of Ferran Torres, Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha in the space of six months, it seemed certain that Memphis would leave in order to play more regularly. The perception was that he would be down the pecking order and while he was fit, he played the least out of Barcelona’s six forwards. This season he has seen just 131 minutes, although in significant part due to injury.
Speaking ahead of Barcelona’s Copa del Rey tie with CF Intercity on Wednesday, Xavi was asked about the possibility of the Dutchman departing.
“I don’t want anyone to leave. I’m delighted with the squad. It seems there won’t be a market for us. I’m happy with Depay. His attitude is good and he will be important for us. He has the ability to make a difference. He’ll have minutes. Like all of them.”
Memphis has been linked with various Premier League clubs such as Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United, but so far no move has materialised.
Xavi clearly wants to keep Memphis until the summer, and that would probably suit the player himself. He feels that if he can reach the open market as a free agent, then he will be better remunerated.
The club is a different matter though. Some at Camp Nou would rather remove his salary from the books as soon as possible, or potentially receive a small fee for him. With no talk of a new contract, which expires this summer, it does appear that Memphis will be on his way out sooner or later, barring a radical change in fortune and performance.