Memphis Depay will do everything to force a move to Barcelona in January after being left disappointed this month, according to Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas.
The Netherlands international was a key target for Barca coach Ronald Koeman as he looked to sign a player capable of playing as a number nine or in supplementary positions in attack, with Luis Suarez having been allowed to leave for Atletico Madrid.
Lyon sporting director Juninho confirmed on Monday that Depay had agreed to terms with the Catalans, but no deal was brokered between the clubs before the transfer deadline.
Aulas says Depay is frustrated at not being able to move but believes a January transfer will be possible.
“Ronald Koeman had given Memphis hope,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “I spoke with the president’s right-hand man twice; he told me he couldn’t see how things could happen. Today, Depay is disappointed, but not towards Lyon, more towards Barcelona.
“He is going to do everything he can to find himself in a position where he moves there in the January transfer window. It is not up to me to make that decision, it is Juninho.”
Aulas said Lyon coach Rudi Garcia “fought with everything he had” to keep Depay at the club despite the forward having less than 12 months to go on his contract.
An extension to that deal has not been ruled out, but an agreement with the player appears unlikely.
“I have not abandoned the idea of extending his contract, but as he has always said no, it looks difficult to do,” Aulas said.
Depay’s 2019-20 season was hampered by a knee ligament injury sustained in December, but he still managed nine goals and two assists in 13 Ligue 1 matches.
The former Manchester United man also scored six times in eight Champions League games in Lyon’s surprise run to the semi-finals, where they lost 3-0 to Bayern Munich.