Football

Atleti step up interest in Depay to replace Felix

Atleti step up interest in Depay to replace Felix
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Atletico Madrid have stepped up their interest in Barcelona forward Memphis Depay as they look to replace Joao Felix and Matheus Cunha, multiple sources have told ESPN.

Memphis, 28, is out of contract in the summer and has made just four appearances in all competitions this season, with Robert Lewandowski, Ousmane Dembele, Raphinha, Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres all preferred by Barca coach Xavi Hernandez.

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Sources have told ESPN that Atletico have received a positive response from Memphis’ camp but negotiations with Barca are not as straightforward.

The Catalan club would prefer to transfer him on a permanent basis for a small fee, although they would also consider a loan depending on the terms of the agreement.

Barca would also like to be able to replace Memphis, if possible, but their hands are tied due to LaLiga’s financial fair play rules and any incomings would be dependent on how much salary space the Dutch forward’s departure creates.

Atletico have been left short in attack after sanctioning loan moves for Felix and Cunha to Chelsea and Wolves respectively.

Spain international striker Borja Iglesias was coach Diego Simeone’s first choice, sources have told ESPN, but Real Betis are demanding a big fee, which has forced Atletico to look elsewhere.

Memphis came close to leaving Barca last summer but a move to Juventus fell through and he ended up staying at Camp Nou for a second season following his move from Lyon in 2021.

Following a lack of minutes under Xavi, sources have confirmed that several clubs have asked about Memphis’ availability, with the former Manchester United player expected to leave for nothing in the summer if he does not move on in January.

In total, Memphis has made 42 appearances for Barca and scored 14 goals.

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