Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman admits they cannot afford to buy Memphis Depay from Lyon

Ronald Koeman has expressed serious doubt over whether Barcelona can pull off the transfer of Memphis Depay, admitting he does not expect the Lyon star to arrive.

Barca have been in talks with the French outfit in recent days over a transfer worth around £28million.

However Koeman, who replaced Quique Setien over the summer as manager at the Nou Camp, has admitted that he expects the transfer to fall through and does not expect any signings unless the club can offload its deadwood.

Memphis Depay’s potential £28million move from Lyon to Barcelona is now in doubt

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‘For Depay to arrive, you must first sell,’ the Barca boss told Fox Sports Netherlands.

‘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.’

Barca’s finances have taken a severe hit following the coronavirus outbreak, with Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas claiming that has damaged Barca’s chances of completing a move for Depay, who has played under Koeman with the Dutch national team.

New Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman does not expect the transfer to go through

Aulas wrote on Twitter: ‘The president of Barca told me on Sunday that Barca was suffering a lot from the Covid crisis and had no possibility of making an offer.’  

Koeman’s side have though been able to unveil one new signing in Miralem Pjanic on Tuesday.

The transfer had already been arranged prior to Koeman’s arrival in a swap deal involving Arthur heading in the opposite direction to Juventus.

The Spanish side have spent much of the summer trying to offload some of their biggest earners entering the autumn of their careers, with Ivan Rakitic having already moved to Sevilla. 

For Barca to sign Depay, they must first sell some of the surplus members of their squad

Arturo Vidal and Luis Suarez have also been told they have no future at the club and are likely to move to Serie A to join Inter Milan and Juventus respectively.

Lionel Messi also had desires to leave the Nou Camp but despite links with Manchester City admitted he would be forced to stay at the club after failing to negotiate a release.

When asked about Messi’s situation, Koeman added: ‘That has passed me reasonably well.

‘That was mainly a conflict between Messi and the club. I have spoken to Messi since then and we will continue as usual.’

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Olivier Giroud admits he almost joined bitter rivals Tottenham in January

Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has revealed that he almost joined bitter rivals Tottenham in January as he was desperate to leave Stamford Bridge.

The 33-year-old was linked with a move away from the club in the winter transfer window after being frozen out for two months.

Giroud, who joined Chelsea from London rivals Arsenal in 2018, has now admitted that he wanted a departure so badly that he almost made the move back to north London, but this time to Spurs.

Forward Olivier Giroud has opened up on coming close to leaving Chelsea in January

Giroud revealed that he almost joined Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham in winter transfer window

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‘During the last three days of the transfer window, I was in the coach’s office to find a solution. I was hoping Chelsea would find a replacement for me,’ he told So Foot, as reported by Goal.

‘For my part, it was not the solutions that were lacking: I almost signed for Lazio, Inter… I was even so determined to leave that I even almost signed for Tottenham!’ 

A transfer failed to materialise for Giroud as Chelsea’s own search for another striker was unsuccessful but he won his first-team place back under manager Frank Lampard.

Striker Giroud scored the opening goal in Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Spurs a month later

A month after almost exiting Chelsea he scored the opening goal in their 2-1 victory over Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham side.

Following the resumption of the top flight after the coronavirus shutdown Giroud was in a rich vein of form and his goals helped fire them to the top four. 

The forward, who was an unused substitute in Chelsea’s 3-1 win over Brighton in their first match this campaign on Monday, signed a contract extension until the end of the 2020-21 season.

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  • Giroud: I was so determined to leave, I nearly signed for Tottenham! | Goal.com

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Man Utd are ‘STILL an option for Gareth Bale’ despite Spurs closing in on deal for Real Madrid star

Manchester United are still very much in the picture to sign Gareth Bale from Real Madrid this summer, according to reports.

Developments on Tuesday pointed to Bale returning to Tottenham after chairman Daniel Levy had held positive talks with the LaLiga champions about a loan deal which would see Madrid pay in-excess of 50 per cent of the Wales international’s astronomical wages of up to £500,000-per-week.

Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett intensified speculation of a reunion by telling BBC Wales that ‘Gareth still loves Spurs… It’s where he wants to be.’

Real Madrid believe that Manchester United are still an option to sell Gareth Bale to

The Wales star is understood to be closing in on a return to Tottenham after breakthrough talks

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However, a Madrid official has told AS that United are still seen as viable suitors for Bale despite seemingly losing ground on Tottenham in the race for his signature.

United retain an interest in Bale, who was identified as a target after they failed to reach an agreement with Borussia Dortmund for Jadon Sancho.

But United will need to strike while the iron is hot with Spurs already in progressive talks with Madrid and confident of concluding a deal.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy was at the forefront of negotiations for Bale on Tuesday

Bale’s agent said the forward still loves Spurs, where he spent six years before leaving for Real

Sportsmail understands Tottenham have explored a loan or a permanent deal, which could include a swap for one of the club’s premium first-team players, for Bale. 

Sources even claimed that Spurs are even prepared to use Dele Alli as a makeweight in the deal for Bale, such was their determination to clinch a return for the 31-year-old.

Levy, who was also trying to close a deal for Real’s £25million-rated left-back Sergio Reguilon, was at the forefront of Tottenham’s negotiations on Tuesday.  

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sees Bale as an option and Man United remain in the frame to sign him

Similarly, United have an interest in the Spain international, who spent last season on loan at Sevilla but are set to be pipped by Spurs.

It is understood that Reguilon was originally attracted by a move to Old Trafford but the 23-year-old has been made aware of how desperate manager Jose Mourinho is to work with him, which has made a move to Spurs a very strong possibility.

Real are understood to want a buy-back clause in any departure for Reguilon, and Spurs are said to be more open to agreeing to that stipulation than United.

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  • Real Madrid: Bale, entre United y Tottenham – AS.com

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