Barcelona announced the signing of Memphis Depay yesterday, with the striker to join when his contract with Lyon expires at the end of this month. Barca have agreed a two-year deal with Depay, who becomes the club’s third signing on a free transfer this summer after moves for Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia had already been confirmed.
They have also paid 9mn euros to activate a clause to recall right-back Emerson from Real Betis. Depay has long been a key target for Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman, who worked with the player when he was in charge of the Dutch national team.
Koeman was in the crowd in Amsterdam on Thursday to see Depay score an early penalty for the Netherlands in their 2-0 victory over Austria at Euro 2020. The 27-year-old was reportedly close to sealing a 25-million-euro move to Barca last year while a reduced fee was also mooted in January, but the club decided to wait for his contract to expire.
Depay scored 20 goals in 38 games for Lyon last season and has five in his last four matches for the Netherlands. He will likely compete with Sergio Aguero for the central striker position as Koeman looks for more of a physical presence up front. Barcelona’s financial problems mean the club are expected to sell a number of fringe players this summer. Philippe Coutinho, Samuel Umtiti and Miralem Pjanic are among those likely to leave.
Arsenal agree new Tierney contract
Kieran Tierney has agreed a new five-year contract at Arsenal and is expected to sign it in the coming weeks, The Guardian reported. Tying down Tierney to a fresh deal comes as a boost for Mikel Arteta, who has seen the 24-year-old become one of his most reliable players. Although Tierney’s present contract has three years to run, his star has risen significantly since he arrived from Celtic in 2019 and Arsenal have moved to underline their commitment to him for the long term.
Had injuries not intervened, Tierney would have made considerably more than the 62 appearances he has managed for Arsenal.
He has primarily shone at left-back, where has proved a dogged and highly effective operator at both ends of the field, but can also play on the left of a back three and excelled in that role for Scotland in their draw with England on Friday.
Now that Tierney’s future is secure, Arsenal hope Emile Smith Rowe will sign new terms. They rejected an opportunistic bid from Aston Villa for the 20-year-old attacking midfielder this week but are yet to stave off further interest by reaching an agreement. Arteta also expects to make a number of signings and has had an opening bid rejected for the Brighton and England centre-back Ben White.
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