'Who wouldn't want to play for Barca?' - Depay open to Camp Nou switch after failed summer deal

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Lyon and Netherlands striker Memphis Depay has admitted that it would be hard to pass up the opportunity to move to Barcelona. 

Depay, 26, has proved a huge hit at Lyon since moving to the Ligue 1 club in 2017 having failed to live up to expectations at Manchester United. 

The forward netted 19 goals in his first full season in the French top flight and, in 2019-20, was a key part of his side's march to the Champions League semi-finals, scoring six goals in eight appearances as Lyon upset both Juventus and Manchester City before their European dreams were ended by Bayern Munich in the last four.

Barcelona have long been linked with Depay's services, and would have tied up a transfer over the summer but for the star's wages pushing the cash-strapped Catalans over budget. 

The Blaugrana would have to further trim their squad to fund new signings of the striker's calibre, but should a move be on the table Depay would consider it very carefully. 

"I don't know about Barca. The transfer market is not open. My mind isn't on that," Depay told reporters after drawing 1-1 with Spain on Wednesday.

"I am trying to give my best, to play well in order to become a better player. There is a lot of speculation out there. 

"Who wouldn't like to play there? They are one of the best teams in the world. Everyone would like to play there, but I'm not thinking about that." 

One person determined to quash any transfer talk is Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas, who stated this week his desire to see Depay remain in France. 

“We have a lot of internationals for different countries, including Memphis, who is a leader,” Aulas told RMC Sport.

“Memphis, I’m not in love with him but I think he can bring to Lyon a dimension that everyone wants the club to have. But, no, we are seemingly not going to keep him [at the end of his contract].

"I was the first to say he would not go to Barcelona. Nobody listened to me during the transfer window because everybody thought he would leave.

“There is not only Memphis, but also Houssem Aouar and Moussa Dembele. From the start, I told you, they will not leave because in a year when we were unfairly deprived of European football, we absolutely have to make a success of the season. So he will stay.”