Manchester United have priority access to re-signing Memphis Depay, Lyon sporting director Juninho has confirmed.
The Netherlands international departed Old Trafford in January 2017 to move to the Ligue 1 outfit after 18 difficult months at Old Trafford.
Having flopped in the Premier League, he has rediscovered his form in France, scoring 11 times in 14 matches with OL this season, including four in four in the Champions League, and once again has suitors queuing up in a bid to sign him.
Tottenham have been linked with a potential £50 million ($64m) deal but Juninho has confirmed that United have a first option on the 25-year-old.
“It’s true that Manchester United have a priority to buy back Memphis,” the Brazilian, once a legendary player for Lyon, told OLTV. “These things exist in football. But until now, we’ve not received anything on Memphis.”
The player’s deal with the club is up in 2021 and Juninho has confessed that getting him to sign an extension could be tough in the face of such interest.
“Each time there’s only a year left on a contract, the conversation over a renewal becomes rather difficult,” he admitted. “But I think that he’s really happy in Lyon at the moment.
“It’s also the same with Moussa Dembele, but the president and those that know football are conscious that, if you want to start winning titles again, to fight in the Champions League and in Ligue 1, it’s important to keep players like that in the squad for a long time.
“For the moment, nothing is being done concerning Memphis. We’ll start discussing a contract extension by the end of the year.”
Such is the high regard that Memphis is held in the Rhone Valley, he was recently named as captain for a Ligue 1 clash against Toulouse. He rose to the occasion by scoring two crucial goals in a 3-2 victory.
“It’s head coach Rudi Garcia who decides who the captain is,” he said. “He’s almost given it to Memphis. I think he deserves it today. He’s really a technical leader and he’s got a little more importance in the locker room too.”
Lyon's next match is not until November 24 against Nice - a fixture they hope to have Memphis available for after he sustained a thigh injury in the recent Champions League win over Benfica, ruling him out of international duty and the 2-1 loss to Marseille.