Barca agree deal to sign Depay on free transfer

Barcelona have reached an agreement to sign Lyon forward Memphis Depay on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of this month.

Depay, who joined Lyon from Manchester United in 2017, will sign a two-year contract with the Spanish club as he reunites with former Netherlands head coach Ronald Koeman.

A club statement read: “FC Barcelona and Memphis Depay have reached an agreement for the player to join the club once his contract with Olympique Lyonnais is at an end. The player will sign a contract until the end of the 2022/23 season.”

Depay is set to become Barcelona’s third free transfer of the summer after ex-Manchester City pair Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia signed for the club.

However, Koeman missed out on fellow Dutchman Georginio Wijnaldum, who opted to sign for Paris Saint-Germain instead to work with Mauricio Pochettino, who once wanted him at Tottenham before he joined Liverpool.

Memphis Depay of the Netherlands during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group C match between Netherlands and Austria at Johan Cruyff ArenA in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Thursday, June 17, 2021, (Dean Mouhtaropoulous/Pool via AP)
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Depay is set to reunite with former Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman at Barcelona

Barcelona have been forced to target free transfers due to more than £1billion-worth of debt, in part caused by the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 27-year-old is currently representing the Netherlands at Euro 2020, scoring one goal in two games.

Depay said in the Netherlands press conference on Wednesday: “Everyone knows that I have been negotiating with Barcelona for some time.

“I want to play with Ronald Koeman. Now is the time to wait, but soon there will be news.”

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Coutinho To Leicester This Summer?

The rumours for Coutinho’s return to the Premier League will continue to dominate transfer market news when the window is open, due to his unhappy period at Barcelona, and especially down to how loved he was in the Premier League. There have been many clubs that have been interested in Coutinho but nothing of any substance until now, where Leicester City are looking to cancel all rumours and make them a reality this summer but just how will he fit in to the Foxes if this move is pulled off.

[Image: The Sun]

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One of the main reasons why Leicester City might be interested in Coutinho is since there has been a lot of rumours about their midfield trio with them moving to alternative clubs themselves. James Maddison has been rumoured to leave to Arsenal due to Martin Odegaard not being let to leave Real Madrid by new manager Carlo Ancelotti after a successful loan at Arsenal, Youri Tielemans who was Leicester’s player of the year last year has been tipped to move to Liverpool like Wilfred Ndidi and Phillipe Coutinho would be able to replace all three of these if needs be. 

Another reason why Coutinho might be interested in a move to the Foxes would be to link back up with Brendan Rodgers where the two of them went on a title push one season and built a rather good relationship. In fact, Coutinho has said before that he would like to link back with Rodgers at some point in his career due to the repour that they had built during their time together at Liverpool. 

But how is this deal going to happen? This is a question that is on both Barcelona and Leicester fans lips as it seems that this deal is still a very long way off. It seems that Barcelona just wants to get him off the wage bill as quickly as possibly, and it has been suggested that they would accept just €20 million, compared to the €142 they paid for him! The way this deal can be struck will be using a loan deal, as although Leicester can afford the price tag, the wages might be the issue. 

Depay close to joining Barcelona on free transfer

Memphis Depay is close to signing for Barcelona on a free transfer.

Head coach Ronald Koeman, who previously managed Depay for the Netherlands national team, has confirmed the move is “well on its way”.

Depay, whose contract with Lyon expires at the end of this month and has been talking to Barca since January, has confirmed there will be news “soon”.

“Memphis has said something about his future which I can confirm,” Koeman was quoted by Marca on Thursday.

“As far as I know, the move is well on its way. Although he hasn’t signed yet, it is close. I wanted to complete the deal in January and if he comes it is great for us.”

Ex-Manchester United forward Depay said in the Netherlands press conference on Wednesday: “Everyone knows that I have been negotiating with Barcelona for some time.

“I want to play with Ronald Koeman. Now is the time to wait, but soon there will be news.”

Depay is set to become Barcelona’s third free transfer of the summer after ex-Manchester City pair Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia signed for the club.

However, Koeman missed out on fellow Dutchman Georginio Wijnaldum, who opted to sign for Paris Saint-Germain instead to work with Mauricio Pochettino, who once wanted him at Tottenham before he joined Liverpool.

Barcelona have been forced to target free transfers due to more than £1billion-worth of debt, in part caused by the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Depay is currently part of the Netherlands squad at Euro 2020 and started in their opening 3-2 win over Ukraine.

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Juve, Barca, Real admitted to Champions League

Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid have been admitted to next season’s Champions League despite their involvement in the proposed breakaway European Super League project.

Admission letters have been sent to all Champions League participants, European soccer’s governing body UEFA has said.

Disciplinary proceedings against Juve, Barca and Real over their involvement in the proposed Super League have been suspended by UEFA’s independent appeals body.

UEFA opened a probe against the three clubs but last week it suspended proceedings after being notified by the Swiss authorities of a court order from the commercial court in Madrid obtained by the legal entity European Super League Company SL.

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Carabao Cup Final - Wembley Stadium
A fan in the stands holds up a banner protesting against the European Super League ahead of the Carabao Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday April 25, 2021.
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English fans protested against the creation of a European Super League

“Admission letters have been sent to all clubs participating in next season’s UEFA club competitions today,” UEFA told Reuters on Tuesday.

Juve, Barca and Real are the last of the 12 clubs who signed up to the Super League in April not to have distanced themselves from the breakaway project which unravelled when all six English teams plus Inter Milan, AC Milan and Atletico Madrid withdrew.

Super League founder and Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli said earlier this month the plan to create a breakaway league was not a coup but a way to save the football industry, which has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Juve qualified for the Champions League on the final day of last season’s Serie A campaign and have since changed coaches, with Massimiliano Allegri back for a second spell.

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Wijnaldum: Barca took too long, PSG were clear

Georginio Wijnaldum says he decided to join Paris Saint-Germain ahead of Barcelona because the Spanish side took too long over negotiations.

Wijnaldum, currently on Euro 2020 duty with the Netherlands, joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer from Liverpool, signing a three-year deal with the Ligue 1 club earlier this week.

Wijnaldum left Liverpool at the end of the season after opting not to sign an extension to his contract at Anfield, and will now play under Mauricio Pochettino in France.

However, his move to Paris came after Barcelona and Bayern Munich had both been trying to sign the midfielder, with the Spanish side locked in talks with the Netherlands captain for up to four weeks.

“I made another choice. It was very difficult. I was negotiating with Barcelona for four weeks, and we never reached a final decision,” Wijnaldum revealed ahead of Netherlands’ Euro 2020 opener against Ukraine on Sunday.










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Wijnaldum was given a guard of honour and a special presentation in what looks likely to be his final game for the club

“Paris Saint-Germain were a bit better in making a decision. They were quicker. And the project that they have at PSG it really appealed to me.

“It was a difficult choice I have to be honest. I thought I would be moving to Barcelona because they were the only team who were really interested in me, but we did not reach an agreement together.

“PSG were much clearer in making that decision.”

Wijnaldum, who made 237 appearances for Liverpool since joining from Newcastle in July 2016, won the Champions League and Premier League during his five-year spell at Anfield.

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Who Could Philippe Coutinho Sign For This Summer?

When Philippe Coutinho is on form, he is one of the best creative midfielders in the work, however since his transfer to Barcelona, things haven’t seem to have worked out as he expected them to have and the transfer rumours have been flying around for the past couple transfer windows, but it seems that this season Barcelona have put him on the transfer list, but which clubs are looking most likely to sign him this summer.

[Image: Bleacher Report]

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It has been tipped that that Coutinho might be interested in returning to Liverpool where he left for Barcelona back in 2018 and was quite clearly one of their most influential players but since then, Liverpool have gone on to win the Champions League and Premier League. Coutinho was a fan favourite at the Merseyside club, and we don’t believe that there are many Liverpool fans that wouldn’t have the Brazilian back at Anfield. Coutinho might have to swallow his pride returning to Liverpool, but we do believe it would be a good move for both parties and is currently trading at 12/1.

However, the heavy favourites to purchase Coutinho this summer is the blue side of Merseyside with Everton being priced at 3/1 to sign the Brazilian this summer. Reports have stated that Everton are confident on completing a deal this summer which would certainly break any ties that he had with Liverpool. Everton shocked the world last summer by signing James Rodriguez and will be looking to repeat history by bringing another A-list player to Goodison Park this summer and might be the best place for Coutinho to get his career back on track.

And finally, outside of the Premier League, Ac Milan are also in the running to sign Coutinho this summer currently priced at 14/1. Milan has showed a lot of improvement over the past couple of years and were in the title race for most of the season, losing out to Inter in the final stages. With them qualifying for the Champions League though next season, this could be a deciding factor if Coutinho was going to sign for them.

Inter Miami co-owner ‘optimistic’ Messi will join in future

Jorge Mas, the co-owner of Major League Soccer team Inter Miami, is “optimistic” Barcelona forward Lionel Messi will play for them in the future.

Messi’s Barcelona contract is due to expire at the end of June but Barcelona president Joan Laporta said earlier this month talks over a new contract were progressing well.

Spanish media reported Barcelona have proposed a new 10-year deal to Messi where the Argentine will play two more seasons before ending his playing career with two seasons at Inter Miami.

The 33-year-old Argentine, who wanted to leave Barcelona last summer, will then return to the La Liga club from Florida for six years as a global ambassador, the reports added.

“I am optimistic Messi will play in an Inter Miami shirt because I think it will complete the legacy of the greatest player in our generation and will meet with the ambitions of the owners of Inter Miami to build a world-class team,” Mas told the Miami Herald.

Mas said he and fellow co-owner David Beckham were determined to bring world-class talent to the Miami club, who are 11th in the 14-team MLS Eastern Conference.

Inter Miami CF co-owners Jorge Mas, left, and David Beckham
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Inter Miami co-owners Jorge Mas, left, and David Beckham

Six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi has scored 672 goals in 778 appearances for Barcelona – both are all-time records for the club.

“David and I have been working really hard, we have aspirations of bringing the best players here and Messi is a generational player, arguably the best player of all time,” Mas added.

Inter Miami are managed by former England women’s manager and Beckham’s ex-Manchester United team-mate Phil Neville.

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Koeman to stay on as Barcelona boss

Ronald Koeman will remain Barcelona’s coach next season, club president Joan Laporta said on Thursday.

Koeman’s future at the club was in doubt after a disappointing season in which the Catalan giants missed out on the La Liga title, were knocked out of the Champions League in the round of 16, and only won the Copa del Rey.

The former Netherlands boss still has a year left on his contract at the Nou Camp and Laporta confirmed in May they were “evaluating” the head coach, while Sky Sports News understood other options were also being assessed.

However, Laporta – who took over from Josep Maria Bartomeu as club president in March – announced the club would be sticking with Koeman after a meeting of the club’s board of directors on Thursday.

“After this period of reflection, vice-president Rafael Yuste and myself have agreed that we will continue with the current contract that Ronald Koeman has.

“We are very pleased to see that these talks have borne fruit in a unity of judgment.”

Barcelona have already moved to bring in new players in the transfer market and secured Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia on free transfers when their deals with Manchester City expire in July.

The club are also in talks to extend Lionel Messi’s current deal which is set to expire in the summer.

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Barca confirm Garcia signing

Eric Garcia will join Barcelona from Manchester City when his contract at the Etihad Stadium expires at the end of this month.

The 20-year-old will sign a contract until the end of the 2025/26 season and with a buy out clause set at 400m euros (£344m).

Garcia was officially unveiled on Tuesday in a behind closed doors presentation due to the ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

Garcia, who graduated from Barcelona’s La Masia academy before joining City in 2017, rejected the offer of a new contract at the Premier League champions last summer.

Barcelona had previously seen a bid of £15.4m (plus add-ons) rejected by City in October 2020 with the club wanting closer to £20m for the defender.

The defender joined the famous Barcelona academy in 2008, before leaving for the Premier League and making his Man City first-team debut aged 17 in a Carabao Cup game against Leicester City in December 2018.

The departure of Vincent Kompany and injury to Aymeric Laporte opened up more opportunities for the defender who in total made more than 30 appearances for Pep Guardiola’s side.

However, after expressing his desire to leave, Garcia made only 12 appearances in all competitions and started just three games this season as Guardiola’s side won a Premier League and Carabao Cup double.

The defender has represented Spain at U16, U17 and U21 level before being capped seven times at senior level. He made his debut against Ukraine last September and has been included in Luis Enrique’s Euro 2020 squad.

The move comes a day after Barcelona unveiled fellow Manchester City player Sergio Aguero at the Nou Camp, the record goalscorer joining on a deal until the end of the 2022/23 season.

The Spanish giants are also confident of securing the services of Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum on a free transfer as well and have also been linked with Lyon’s Memphis Depay.

Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona finished third in La Liga, seven points behind champions Atletico Madrid, but did win the Copa del Rey this season.

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Aguero joining Barca on two-year deal | Unveiled at Nou Camp

Sergio Aguero is joining Barcelona from Manchester City on a deal until the end of the 2022/23 season and was unveiled at the Nou Camp after signing his contract on Monday.

The forward was presented in a Barca kit and greeted the media on Monday evening after completing a medical in the afternoon prior to signing a two-year deal.

Aguero will move to Barcelona on a free transfer but the Catalan club have said Aguero’s buyout clause is set at €100m (£86m). He will officially become a Barcelona player on July 1 after his City contract expires.

Aguero’s departure from the Etihad was announced at the end of March after Pep Guardiola informed City’s record goalscorer of the club’s decision not to renew his deal.

Aguero donned the famous blue and red kit for the first time as he walked out on to the Nou Camp pitch
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Aguero donned the famous blue and red kit for the first time as he walked out on to the Nou Camp pitch

The 32-year-old, who was signed from Atletico Madrid in 2011, has been restricted in his appearances this season due to injuries and illness.



Aguero greatest goals








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With Aguero leaving Manchester City for Barcelona, here are his best Premier League goals for the club

Upon his arrival at the Nou Camp, he said: “We all know that Barcelona are the best club in the world so I think I made a great decision to be here and I hope to help the team.

“Of course it is a step forward in my career and hopefully I can help the team win things. I want to play and help this squad, and if the team does it well, I will be happy individually.

“I want to send a big hug to everyone, to all the supporters I will try to give my best and hopefully the fans will enjoy my skills. They enjoyed me in other shirts but now I am here.

“I have changed a little bit. When I arrived in Europe to Atletico Madrid at 18 years old, I learned a lot, then I played for Manchester City in the Premier League.

FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta, left, and Argentinian forward Sergio 'Kun' Aguero pose for the media during the official presentation of Aguero after signing for FC Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain, Monday May. 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
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Aguero poses for the media with Barcelona’s president Joan Laporta

“Now I have changed my way of playing, but I have an idea of where I can play and I will try to help my team-mates with my experience.”

Aguero, one of the most influential players in City’s history, leaves the club after winning five Premier League titles, one FA Cup, and six League Cups.

Despite helping City reclaim the league title this season, Aguero bowed out after coming on as a substitute against Chelsea in the Champions League final, which his side lost 1-0 at the Estadio Do Dragao in Porto.

City thank ‘legend’ Aguero



Barclays Premier League, Manchester City v Queens Park Rangers, Etihad Stadium, Manchester City's Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring the winning goal (Photo by Ed Garvey/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)








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Relive the greatest moment of Aguero’s Manchester City career, winning the title with the last kick of the 2011/2012 season

City confirmed the move in their own statement and thanked Aguero for his “incredible contribution”.

“Sergio Aguero will join Barcelona when his Manchester City contract expires at the end of June,” City said.

“In March it was confirmed a statue of the City striker has been commissioned to stand alongside those currently in work to honour David Silva and Vincent Kompany. His legend will further be marked by the installation of a dedicated and permanent mosaic at the City Football Academy.



Sergio Aguero celebrates his second goal








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Aguero signed off in style as a City player by scoring two goals at the Etihad Stadium in their 5-0 win over Everton

“Everyone at Manchester City would like to take this opportunity to thank Sergio for his incredible contribution to our success over the last decade and wish him well on the remainder of his career.”

The Argentina international scored 260 goals in 390 appearances in all competitions under Roberto Mancini, Manuel Pellegrini and Guardiola, and leaves as the fourth-highest goalscorer in Premier League history and as City’s all-time record scorer.

Guardiola had paid an emotional tribute to Aguero after the striker’s double on the final day of the Premier League season against Everton, saying: “We love him so much – he is a special person for all of us. We can not replace him.”



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An emotional Pep Guardiola paid tribute to the departing Aguero as the Argentine scored twice in his final appearance at the Etihad

Garcia to follow Aguero?

Eric Garcia is expected to follow Aguero in joining Barcelona this summer. The defender is a product of the La Masia academy and Guardiola brought him to the Etihad in 2017, but he made just six top-flight appearances this season.

Barcelona won the Copa del Rey but missed out on the La Liga title this season, finishing seven points behind league winners Atletico.

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero (PA)
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Aguero is the fourth-highest goalscorer in Premier League history

Aguero will link up with long-time Argentina team-mate Lionel Messi at the Nou Camp. Joan Laporta, the club’s president has said he is “moderately optimistic” over the prospect of Messi signing a new contract, while the Spanish club are also confident of securing the services of Georginio Wijnaldum, who appears set to leave Liverpool.

Meanwhile, Guardiola says he is planning on staying at City for the long term because the club “gives the manager everything he needs”, after the Spaniard guided the club to a third Premier League triumph under his tenure.



Manchester City's Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero warms up during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on November 21, 2020. (Photo by NEIL HALL / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE.








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Barcelona’s signing of Aguero from City is a sign the La Liga club learned a lesson following the departure of Luis Suarez, says Spanish football expert Alvaro Montero

‘Barca confident of Aguero impact’

Analysis from Spanish football expert Alvaro Montero…

“It is not the same Aguero which shone for Manchester City a few seasons ago or even the one which played for Atletico Madrid here in La Liga.

“Barcelona have learned an important lesson. Last year they thought that Luis Suarez was not fit enough and was not a good striker for an important club.

“With Aguero 33-years-old next Wednesday, the feeling is that maybe he is not the person he was five or six years ago but that he can have an impact in two years at the club.










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Barcelona fans give their views on the arrival of Sergio Aguero a few hours before the La Liga club officially announced the transfer

“They believe that the Argentinian is better than many strikers who have arrived over the last few seasons.

“No one wants to pay such a huge wage to Lionel Messi and it seems that the arrival of Aguero, one of his best friends in the world of football and close friends for the last 16 or 17 years, could be a huge step to make Messi stay at the club.”

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