The whole situation surrounding Luis Suarez’s departure from Barcelona will probably linger over the club for a year, and you can be sure that Lionel Messi won’t forget it when his contract expires next summer either.
It leaves the club in an interesting situation where the squad might be strong enough to handle losing Suarez depending on Antoine Griezmann’s confidence, but you know that the fans will want someone else to come in.
Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan was spoken about for months as the likely replacement, but it looks like he won’t be coming and it’s Memphis Depay who’s going to be targeted instead:
Ronald Koeman: “Depay or Lautaro Martinez? I’m not ruling anything out…”. The real target for Barça is Memphis Depay. First bid ready to be submitted by weeks [€30m/add ons inc] – Koeman is trying to convince the board. Lautaro is going to stay at Inter. ?? #FCB #transfers
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) September 26, 2020
Premier League fans will remember him as the one trick pony at Man United where that trick didn’t actually work, but he’s come a long way since moving to Lyon.
He’s excelled as a number 9 and he’s developed a clinical touch in front of goal, so signing him would give them a new striker and cover on the left flank too, where he could even switch with Griezmann during games to confuse defences.
He’ll be well known to Koeman after working with him for the Dutch national team so he should also know how to get the best out of him.
Lyon have been fairly solid in the transfer market when it comes to playing hardball over their star players, so it will be interesting to see if Barca can get this over the line, especially when there’s no obvious alternatives.