Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has said Barcelona must sell before they can sign Lyon captain Memphis Depay.
Koeman is keen to bring his compatriot to the Camp Nou, but financial implications of the Covid-19 pandemic mean that Barca are likely to start the new LaLiga season with no new additions.
Dutch paper De Telegraaf reported that Barca had an offer of €25m plus €5m in add-ons accepted by Ligue 1 side Lyon.
The outlet claimed: “Memphis is going to play next to Messi.”
However, Koeman says that is not the case because financially they can not fund the deal.
He told Fox Sports Netherlands: “For Depay to arrive, you must first sell.”
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas – prior to Tuesday’s 2-1 loss against Montpellier – also claimed Barca cannot afford to buy Memphis.
Aulas wrote: “The president of Barca indicated to me on Sunday that Barca were suffering a lot from the Covid crisis and didn’t have the possibility to make an offer. #memphis”
Josep Bartomeu recently revealed that Barcelona faced losing around 30 per cent of their budgeted income because of the coronavirus pandemic, with that figure likely to equate to somewhere close to €300m.
No new Barca signings
Memphis though appears keen to make the move to Barca.
The Dutch international was asked about Barca’s interest last week
“We just have to see what will happen. I’ll report to [Lyon] tomorrow and we’ll see what happens,” Depay told NOS after Netherlands’ 1-0 defeat to Italy.
“I haven’t heard much more from my agent. I know that there is interest, but I don’t have much more to say because I don’t know much about it.”
Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has also emerged as a possible target for Barca, but Koeman is not expecting any new arrivals.
Koeman said: “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.”