Koeman: No Barca deal with Depay, new players

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has said the club has not reached an agreement to sign Lyon forward Memphis Depay and that he expects to start the season with no additions to his squad. Reports on Monday suggested Barca had agreed to pay an initial €25 million for Depay, who is out of contract at the end of the season.

The club simply doesn’t have the cash to make signings at the moment, with Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas later tweeting that his Barca counterpart, Josep Maria Bartomeu, told him the same in a conversation on Sunday.

Koeman, who coached Depay previously in his role as the Netherlands national team boss, said players need to be sold before Barca can even think about bringing in new faces.

“We’re working towards the new season and I think we will go into it with the same group of players that we have now for pre-season,” the coach told Fox Sports Netherlands.

Depay, 26, has been singled out by Barca as a possible target but the club’s financial position, which has worsened during the coronavirus pandemic, means they desperately need to sell players and reduce the wage bill.

Ivan Rakitic has moved to Sevilla FC for €1.5 million and Arturo Vidal will join Inter Milan for a similarly low fee this week. Luis Suarez will also be allowed to leave if he can find a new club but none of those three players, despite commanding big salaries, will bring in big transfer fees to fund a spending splurge.

Barca had hoped to sell Samuel Umtiti, Rafinha, and Jean-Clair Todibo but have not yet found buyers. They have also been, at various points in the summer, open to bids for Nelson Semedo, Junior Firpo and Philippe Coutinho, although the latter is now poised to be given a second chance at Camp Nou under Koeman.

All of that was relayed to Aulas by Bartomeu in a private chat. The Barca president wanted to reach out given the sheer number of reports on the club’s potential interest in Memphis.

“The Barcelona president told me on Sunday that they are suffering a lot due to the coronavirus crisis and there’s no possibility of them making an offer,” Aulas wrote.