KEY POINTS

  • Memphis Depay was linked with Barcelona during the summer market
  • Ronald Koeman wanted Depay to replace Luis Suarez at Barca
  • Depay currently is on international duties with the Netherlands

Lyon forward Memphis Depay, who was heavily linked with a move to FC Barcelona during the recently ended summer market, revealed why the transfer did not happen.

The 26-year-old player, who is currently on international duties with the Netherlands team said, "certain rules" stopped his transfer to Barcelona, Spanish publication Diario AS reported.

During a post-match interview, after Netherlands’ 1-0 loss to Mexico Wednesday, Depay was questioned about his recent links with Barcelona.

"It was pretty close. We don't need to go into all the details, but there were certain rules that prevented it, unfortunately. But I believe everything happens for a reason. I now focus on Lyon and want to be important there again. We'll see how things are going again afterward. If I do my thing, the interest may still be there. I just have to switch that switch now,” Depay, who was valued at around $35 million by Lyon, said in the interview.

Depay, whose current deal with Lyon is set to expire in June, has been in a fine form for the French club, having scored 49 goals across the last three seasons. In the 2019-20 campaign, Depay became just the second Dutch player to score in six consecutive Champions League games, after Ruud van Nistelrooy.

In the ongoing 2020-21 campaign, Depay has also already netted four goals for Lyon in as many as six matches.

The rumors about Depay’s move to Barcelona had strengthened, following the arrival of new head coach Ronald Koeman, who was keen on having his fellow Dutchman at Nou Camp. Koeman wanted Depay to replace Luis Suarez, who ended his six-year stint at Barcelona this summer after being told he was no longer in Koeman’s plans for the Catalans.

Memphis Depay's late goal took Lyon through to the last 16 as the French side drew 2-2 with RB Leipzig Memphis Depay's late goal took Lyon through to the last 16 as the French side drew 2-2 with RB Leipzig Photo: AFP / JEFF PACHOUD

It was earlier reported that since Barcelona striker Ousmane Dembele refused to accept Manchester United’s loan offer, the Catalans could not sign Koeman’s top target -- Depay. It was also understood that Lyon had dropped Depay’s transfer fee of $29 million on the deadline day (Oct. 5) to help him secure his dream move to Barcelona. However, Dembele’s decision to not leave the club left Barcelona with no choice but to withdraw from Depay’s transfer.