Memphis Depay finished last season as Barcelona‘s joint top scorer in his debut campaign with the Catalans but is finding life a bit harder in the 2022-23 campaign.
Injury and the arrival of players such as Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski have seen the Dutchman struggle for game time. Depay has played only twice in La Liga and will not feature against Osasuna in the team’s last match before the World Cup.
The Netherlands international is said to be “upset” at his lack of game time under Xavi and has already left Barcelona and returned to his home country to prepare for the World Cup, as reported by Fernando Polo at Mundo Deportivo.
Depay has been granted permission to head to the Netherlands with his personal trainer and finish his recovery. The forward did ask “weeks ago” if he could leave to focus on the World Cup but saw his request turned down.
Barcelona have since had a change of heart after realizing he will not play against Osasuna. Victory for the Catalan giants in the game will ensure they will head into the World Cup break top of the table in Spain.
What Next For Memphis?
Memphis’s future at Barcelona remains uncertain as he is out of contract at the end of the season and able to leave on a free transfer. An exit seems highly likely given his lack of appearances in the first half of the season.
Polo adds that Barca would prefer to sell Memphis in January to avoid losing him for free and to boost their finances. The 28-year-old “has no intention” of renewing his contract this summer but would like to leave as a free agent in January if he must depart this winter.
Memphis was close to a move away from Barcelona in the summer and has explained why he opted to stay at the Camp Nou in an interview with DAZN, as reported by Football Italia.
“Other clubs came and then you just look at your options. I decided to fight for my chance here,” he explained. “I was the topscorer of Barça with Aubameyang. I love competition and I don’t walk away from it. I enjoy being at Barça.”
A move to Juventus collapsed but the Turin giants are thought to still be keen on Memphis. Italian rivals Roma and Turkish club Galatasaray have also been linked with Memphis who may not lack for offers when the transfer window reopens.