Despite the plans by Barcelona manager Xavi to try to convince Dutch forward Memphis Depay to stay at the club, the former Manchester United forward is joining La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid on a permanent move.
This is as reports emerged on Wednesday that both sides have agreed to a €3 million deal for a permanent move while personal terms have also been agreed upon.
Depay will have his medical at the capital club side, and an official announcement is expected in the next 24 hours. The deal was straightforward because the player wanted only Atletico Madrid as his destination.
Memphis Depay has always shown his intention of leaving Barcelona after his playing time was reduced with the arrival of Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha in the summer.
The former Lyon forward has only played 114 minutes of football this season in La Liga, and there were initial reports that a move to Atletico Madrid will involve a swap deal involving Belgium forward Yannick Carrasco.
There were other reports that also said that Xavi personally wanted a deal with Inter with the hopes of bringing Marcelo Brozovic over to Camp Nou in a swap deal.
Rather than a likely summer transfer when his contract at Barcelona will expire, Depay will now move to Atletico Madrid, where he is expected to enjoy more playing time, especially with Joao Felix’s Loan move to Chelsea.
Depay rejected moves from Newcastle United and Galatasaray last summer but opted to stay on at Camp Nou, earning Xavi’s praises for his professionalism.
Atletico Madrid were in action on Wednesday in the Copa Del Rey as Diego Simeone’s side faced Levante. Alvaro Morata’s goal in the first half and a late Marcos Llorente strike ensured a 2-0 victory for Atletico.
Daniel Ademiju Idowu