After a week filled with never-ending rumours, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are finally set to shake hands and complete the transfer of Memphis Depay. The Dutchman will leave Camp Nou for the Civitas Metropolitano in a deal worth around €3 million.
Depay’s impending departure will leave a vacancy in the attacking department at Barcelona, even though he was hardly used by manager Xavi Hernandez.
Indeed, the Netherlands star had played just four times across all competitions, but he was the closest to a backup No. 9 at Xavi’s disposal who could provide natural cover to Robert Lewandowski.
And the manager has constantly insisted that he does not wish to weaken his squad in January ahead of a tight-knit, intense schedule coming up ahead.
So, SPORT is now reporting that Xavi has demanded that Barcelona sign a new forward to replace Depay and the club are already working on bringing in a new face.
The 28-year-old striker’s exit would mean that there will be some space freed up on the wage bill while Barça will also be getting a fee for his sale.
They are hopeful that it can be used to bring in a new forward, even though the Financial Fair Play problems make the situation a bit unclear.
The report adds that the coaching staff would prefer a player who can play as a centre-forward or a secondary striker and contribute with goals regularly, something which has been an issue for the Catalans, with Robert Lewandowski being the only consistent scorer this term.
The Blaugrana will explore the market for loan deals, free transfers, or even permanent signings at a small fee.
But in case a new player cannot be signed, Xavi could turn to an in-house solution in Angel Alarcon, who has already been called up for the Copa del Rey clash against AD Ceuta.