Ex-Man Utd man knocked down a peg with club chief’s bitter parting shot

Date published: Friday 28th May 2021 11:14 - Jonny Whitfield

Memphis Depay Lens v Lyon April 2021

Lyon sporting director Juninho has offered a parting shot to ex-Manchester United winger Memphis Depay ahead of his summer departure.

Dutchman Depay is leaving his Ligue 1 employers ahead of next season as his contract expires. The 27-year-old has had strong links with Barcelona for a while, but those rumours have intensified. Indeed, journalist Fabrizio Romano claimed on Tuesday (via Twitter) that Barca have sent their offer.

Doubt had emerged over the transfer due to uncertainty over manager Ronald Koeman’s future.

However, Marca has reported that Depay’s fellow countryman has secured his job and the free transfer swoop can go ahead.

Depay spoke fondly of Lyon in an interview with L’Equipe last week when he confirmed that he is leaving.

But Juninho has not shared the same sentiment, hitting out at the attacker for making the team revolve around him.

“Memphis Depay just wanted a team for himself. It’s not a criticism, I had a good relationship with him,” the sporting director told OLTV, his club’s official media channel.

“But on the other hand, the whole team had to revolve around him and that is very hard. Everyone should feel like they’re working the same.

“There are only four players in the world where you have to do everything for them: [Lionel] Messi, [Cristiano] Ronaldo, Neymar and [Kylian] Mbappe. If you have one of them, then the team can revolve around them.

“Sorry, I think that Depay is strong, but he’s not at their level. And I think that he has to work harder without the ball.”

Depay moved to Lyon in January 2017 after a spell at Man Utd in which he failed to make an impact.

Upon moving to France, though, he rediscovered the talent he had shown at PSV which sparked the Red Devils’ interest.

Overall, he made 178 appearances for Lyon, contributing 76 goals and 55 assists. What’s more, he took the captain’s armband in November 2019.

Man Utd make Solskjaer decision

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Europa League final TEAMtalk

Depay was at United while Louis van Gaal was manager. Skip forward almost four years since the winger’s departure and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has replaced Jose Mourinho at the helm.

Unlike Mourinho, though, he has yet to win silverware at Old Trafford, losing in Wednesday’s Europa League final.

As he approaches the final season of his three-year contract, United bosses have reportedly made a decision over his future.

READ MORE: Ed Woodward influential as Man Utd make huge decision over Solskjaer future

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