If Jose Mourinho insists on a buy-back clause it is fair to consider the player is an unfulfilled talent. Mourinho did so with Adnan Januzaj and Memphis Depay, both now in Spain at Sevilla and Barcelona.
Manchester United fleetingly considered re-signing Depay in the summer, five-and-a-half years after he left for Lyon. Depay and Erik ten Hag’s paths crossed during the United manager’s stint as assistant at PSV Eindhoven in the early 2010s and Ten Hag is a stickler for familiarity.
Depay overcame a thigh problem to figure for the Netherlands at the World Cup after only two starts for Barcelona, where he is approaching the endgame. The 28-year-old is out of contract in the summer and Barca need to clear the decks
Barcelona cannot be picky with outgoings and the prospect of a club coughing up a loan fee in January and covering Depay’s wages has to appeal. Loaning in Depay would also suit United, likelier to opt for a loan rather than a buy.
Now 28, Depay has matured and developed into a central striker, where he lined up next to Cody Gakpo in Qatar against the United States and Argentina. A short-term return at United, with Barcelona powerless to demand an obligation to buy, would suit both parties. The Premier League is the shop window customers flock to.
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