Rudi Garcia: I will drive Memphis to Barcelona myself

The Dutchman looks set to leave Lyon this summer and his coach believes a player of his quality should always compete for the Champions League

12:34pm on Sunday 6th September 2020
Paul Macdonald

Lyon boss Rudi Garcia has heaped praise on forward Memphis Depay, claiming that a player of his quality deserves to be competing for the Champions League and 'would drive him there myself'.

Lyon are without Champions League football for the forthcoming season, and despite a run to the tournament semi-finals, knocking out Manchester City on the way, it it thought that a number of first-team players may become available.

Depay has only recently returned from a serious cruciate ligament, but Ronald Koeman, who coached the forward at international level with the Netherlands, is known to be a huge admirer.

Speaking to Telefoot, Garcia seemed resigned to losing his star forward, saying: "Depay is a top player, a fantastic footballer, [one] who has just returned from a cruciate ligament operation. If he stays with us, we will be a much stronger team.

"If Memphis, like many other players in my squad, and there are quite a few, has the opportunity to play in a team that has been built to win the Champions League, I would drive him to Barcelona myself."

Garcia added, however, that the situation at Barcelona may not be so clear cut that there is a path to the team for Depay.

He added: "They are talking about the interest in signing Memphis, but they also remember that Luis Suarez has not yet rescinded his contract with Barcelona.

"And a few days ago we discussed the departure of a small left-hander who, finally, remains in the Barca team. There is no space to incorporate another player."

Barcelona seem confident in securing Depay for a fee in the region of €25m, and they remain interested in Georginio Wijnaldum from Liverpool.


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