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Manchester United flop to join Atletico Madrid in £2.6m deal

Ryan Smart

| Last updated 

Manchester United flop to join Atletico Madrid in £2.6m deal

Former Manchester United forward Memphis Depay is set to join Atletico Madrid from Barcelona in a £2.6 million deal, according to reports.

Fabrizio Romano claimed last week that Atletico had contacted their La Liga rivals over the potential signing of Depay after loaning out Joao Felix to Chelsea.

Reports from Spain have alleged throughout the season that Barca would allow the Netherlands international to leave Camp Nou in January due to their current financial situation, although the player was said to be less keen to depart.

Depay's second season at Barcelona has been more challenging than the first, with injury issues costing him opportunities for gametime.


He has also made just one appearance in the five competitive games Xavi's side have played since the conclusion of the World Cup, that being the 4-3 Copa del Rey win over third tier side CF Intercity.

It was claimed that both United and Arsenal carried interest in signing the player, and the small fee involved in the deal would potentially have appealed to Erik ten Hag's side in the current window.


However, it appears that the Dutchman, who made 53 appearances for United during an unsuccessful 18-month spell between 2015 and 2017, is to join Atletico instead.


Depay set to move to Atletico Madrid

The Athletic have reported that Barcelona have agreed a €3 million (£2.6 million) fee to sell Depay to Atletico this January.

It is claimed that the deal will include add-ons, with the nature of the fee reflecting the fact that the 29-year-old's contract was due to expire this summer.

A return to the Premier League, therefore, will not be happening, with Depay set to embark on his second adventure in Spanish football.


He moved to Camp Nou in the summer of 2021, after a four-and-a-half year spell with Lyon. He reignited his career in France, following a disappointing time at Old Trafford.

Signed by Louis van Gaal, Depay scored seven goals in 45 appearances in his first season at United, but found it difficult to get into the team under Jose Mourinho.

He admitted in an interview with El Periodico in 2021 (quotes via Manchester Evening News) that he struggled to adapt to life in English football, although Mourinho would later praise Depay for his achievements after departing United.

The Portuguese boss told talkSPORT (via Daily Mirror): "I think he got this maturity in Lyon, which is sometimes what players need. Sometimes they can go too early to the big clubs, where they are not ready to cope with it. Where they are not ready to understand that, in the biggest clubs, there is internal competition, that you cannot play all the time. That there are fantastic players to fight with you for a position.


"They can lose a little sense of reality and become a bit childish, which is what happened. So when he decided to go to Lyon, it was a great move for him."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Arsenal, Premier League, Transfers

Ryan Smart
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