Barcelona’s next signing agreed terms with Liverpool in 2015 before he joined Man Utd

Memphis Depay will be a Barcelona player next season but he very nearly joined Liverpool in 2015 before he moved to Manchester United.

Simon Hughes reports for The Athletic that, in 2015. Liverpool had a move to sign Memphis Depay all wrapped up and were willing to pay £25million plus add-ons but Brendan Rodgers switched the focus to signing Christian Benteke.

According to Hughes, this left Depay confused. He then entered talks with PSG before Man Utd entered the fray and sealed his move to Old Trafford where he had a tumultuous time of things.

Liverpool wound up signing Benteke and Roberto Firmino with the latter becoming one of the best forwards that has played at Anfield in recent years, winning the Premier League and the Champions League.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 25: Christian Benteke (R) of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team's first goal with his team mate Roberto Firmino (L) during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield on October 25, 2015 in Liverpool, England
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 25: Christian Benteke (R) of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team’s first goal with his team mate Roberto Firmino (L) during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield on October 25, 2015 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Liverpool reportedly had a contract in place with Depay and he would have been “one of the highest-paid players at the club, beside Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho.”

Fabrizio Romano now reports that he is set to join Barcelona as a free agent and, for me, it’s another massive missed opportunity.

Liverpool need a new forward to compete with Roberto Firmino for a place in the starting XI and Depay would have been a very financially savvy target given his contract standoff with Lyon.

In 40 games in all competition, he scored 22 goals and assisted 12 which is an amazing return and the kind of output that Liverpool need from a central role.

POLAND - NOVEMBER 18: Memphis Depay of Holland celebrates 1-1 during the UEFA Nations league match between Poland v Holland on November 18, 2020.
, POLAND – NOVEMBER 18: Memphis Depay of Holland celebrates 1-1 during the UEFA Nations League match between Poland v Holland on November 18, 2020.(Photo by Laurens Lindhout/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Liverpool are in the market for a new forward that can play a central role as well as on the wing and Depay fits the bill perfectly.

While Jurgen Klopp likely already has a suitable target in mind, I think not going for the Dutch international is a mistake.

He’s still only 27 so he has several years left at the top and with Virgil van Dijk at the club and his previous desire to move to Anfield, I don’t think convincing him to join would have been an issue.

Liverpool have been linked with his compatriot Donyell Malen. He’d also be a good fit and at 22, he has his entire career ahead of him which could make him an en even better option for the Reds.

ENSCHEDE, NETHERLANDS - JUNE 6: Donyell Malen of the Netherlands and Guram Kashia of Georgia during the International Friendly match between Netherlands and Georgia at FC Twente Stadion on June 6, 2021 in Enschede, Netherlands.
ENSCHEDE, NETHERLANDS – JUNE 6: Donyell Malen of the Netherlands and Guram Kashia of Georgia during the International Friendly match between Netherlands and Georgia at FC Twente Stadion on June 6, 2021 in Enschede, Netherlands. (Photo by Andre Weening/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

Also from PSV Eindhoven, Malen has pace, great link-up play and has shown his ability to contribute up top, scoring 27 goals and 10 assists.

What surprised me about the former Arsenal youth prospect is his strength – much like Mo Salah, he is much stronger than his lithe frame suggests.

Liverpool would play a blinder by signing him, with Voetbal International reporting PSV would accept just £25miullion for his signature.

Michael Mongie
Football Central Media Group founder, owner and editor.

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