The Lowdown: Depay on the periphery
The report mentioned that the Netherlands international has found himself frozen out at Camp Nou under Xavi, with the imminent arrival of Robert Lewandowski set to push the 28-year-old further down the pecking order.
Spanish news outlet AS reported that the La Liga giants have made him available for transfer due to their wealth of attacking options, with the former Manchester United forward now likely to be offloaded by the Catalan club.
Spurs have already signed one marquee forward this summer with their £60m swoop for Richarlison from Premier League rivals Everton, but it seems that Fabio Paratici and co might not stop there.
The Latest: Spurs close to meeting asking price
The Daily Express reported that Tottenham are just £2m away from meeting Barcelona’s £17m valuation of Depay, with the headline stating that the north Londoners are ‘close to agreeing’ a transfer.
However, the report also claimed that Spurs will need to navigate multiple potential stumbling blocks if they are to clinch a deal for the winger.
Firstly, they might not be open to improving upon their £15m offer for a player with less than 12 months remaining on his contract. Also, Depay is believed to favour a move to somewhere other than England, while he is thought to be ‘happy’ at Camp Nou despite his first-team prospects looking bleak.
The Verdict: Luxury signing
Depay boasts a tremendous goalscoring pedigree, having netted 42 times in 80 caps for Netherlands and hit double figures in four of his last five league campaigns, including 12 last term for Barcelona.
He has also been hailed as “one of the best” players in Europe by Camp Nou team-mate Riqui Puig, while his rankings in the top 7% of positional peers in Europe’s top five leagues for progressive passes and progressive carries (FBRef) further illustrates a proactive player who consistently tries to make things happen for his team.
However, with Richarlison joining a forward line which already contained Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski (56 goals between them last term), Depay would not be guaranteed a regular starting berth by any means. Also, Conte might be deterred by the player’s apparent satisfaction to stay put in Spain, which doesn’t suggest that the 28-year-old is desperate to come to Tottenham.
All told, the Dutchman seems like a player who would be something of a luxury signing at N17, a player who would be nice for Spurs to have but who they don’t necessarily need.
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