Ronald Koeman suggests Barcelona will try again to sign Georginio Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay in January

Ronald Koeman has suggested Barcelona will try again to sign Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum and Lyon attacker Memphis Depay in the January transfer window.

Both players were top targets for Barca during the summer but Koeman has revealed they were unable to sign Wijnadlum because his position was of less financial priority, while they needed to sell a player first to sign Depay to remain within La Liga rules.

Wijnaldum, in particular, has entered into the final 12 months of his Liverpool contract, and is therefore able to speak to foreign clubs from January 1 about a free transfer next summer.

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Koeman told Dutch newspaper AD this weekend: “Our interest in Wijnaldum was separate [to Lionel Messi’s future]. I think our squad could use some depth, especially when we haven’t got the ball.

“Gini has a great sense of space, he can get to the goal fantastically well from midfield, he could really add something to the team.


“But the financial situation was known by the club, his position was ultimately less of a priority than, for example, the right-back or the striker position.

“We wanted Memphis because he is a great player and because he has qualities that we lacked in my opinion: especially depth in our attack.”

“Most attackers at Barcelona want the ball to their feet. Memphis can be used as a target man, but he can also come deep. He is strong, dynamic, and can play centrally as well as from the left.

“In principle everything was ready, but due to the rules of La Liga we knew that we had to sell a player first. In the end it did not happen. Too bad, but Memphis also knew what the situation was.

“[Trying to sign him in January] is certainly a possibility, yes. I will try, because I would like to have him here. But I cannot estimate now what the financial situation of the club is like in January.”

Messi’s future also remains in doubt despite the player opting to stay this summer following a protracted dispute with the Barca hierarchy, with his contract expiring next summer.

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