Barca to put Memphis on the market as Xavi makes incredible transfer U-turn

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner 14 Jan 2022 17:30 CET 3 min read
Memphis Depay celebrates scoring for Barcelona in La Liga

Luuk de Jong’s form has forced Barcelona head coach Xavi into a transfer market U-turn, with Memphis Depay now the player under threat.

On loan from Sevilla, there appeared to be little about the Dutchman’s game attractive to the new boss when he first arrived at the club. Indeed, it was thought that De Jong was such a poor fit for Xavi’s philosophy that even before coach had stepped in the door, he had made up his mind to release him.

De Jong has rarely been a prolific scorer during his career, but a run of three goals in three games is a timely run of good form, particularly given that Memphis has increasingly fallen out of favour after a promising start following a summer move from Lyon.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Memphis’ star has fallen so far that De Jong is now ahead of him in the pecking order and, as such, is now the player who looks likelier to remain at the club beyond the end of the January transfer window.

Certainly, recent team selections point in that direction. De Jong might have been a starter in Xavi’s first match in charge – a 2-2 draw in Osasuna – but that came out of necessity because of injury and illness problems.

Luuk de Jong

Luuk de Jong

After playing only five minutes in the next two games, De Jong took his chance in the starting XI by grabbing the winner in Mallorca and then netting against Granada. He subsequently scored against Real Madrid, too, although that goal owed much to luck.

But beyond his goals, Xavi is fond of his industry.

Why Memphis is now Barca’s priority to sell

There are other reasons, too, why Barcelona might prefer to sell Memphis.

Primarily, he is on a substantial wage – far bigger than De Jong – and releasing that from their squad will give them a greater capacity to strengthen in other areas.

Similarly, Barca could raise a transfer fee for Memphis. This is not the case with De Jong, who is merely at the club on loan. Just who might sign the Dutchman, though, is a case up for debate.

Regardless, the roles have been reversed, with Barcelona now preferring to keep De Jong and dump Memphis, which was unthinkable on a few short weeks ago.