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Ronald Koeman suggests Barcelona will make January moves for Liverpool and Lyon targets

Georginio Wijnaldum
(Image credit: PA)

Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has hinted that the Spanish giants will make January moves for Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and Lyon star Memphis Depay.

The pair were heavily linked with the Camp Nou club during a turbulent summer for Barca, in which talisman Lionel Messi submitted a transfer request.

Koeman, who was appointed as Quique Setien’s successor in August, was ultimately unable to add the two players to his ranks, but hasn't given up hope of having them available before the end of the campaign.

Fellow Dutchman Wijnaldum is in the final year of his Liverpool contract and can agree a free transfer for next summer from 1 January.

"Our interest in Wijnaldum was separate (to Lionel Messi's future),” Koeman told Dutch newspaper AD.

“I think our squad could use some depth, especially when we haven't got the ball.

“Gini has a great sense of space, he can get to the goal fantastically well from midfield, he could really add something to the team.

"But the financial situation was known by the club, his position was ultimately less of a priority than, for example, the right-back or the striker position.”

Koeman admitted that former Manchester United forward Depay, who played a starring role in Lyon’s run to the Champions League semi-finals last term, also remains a target for Barcelona.

"We wanted Memphis because he is a great player and because he has qualities that we lacked in my opinion: especially depth in our attack,” he said.

“Most attackers at Barcelona want the ball to their feet. Memphis can be used as a target man, but he can also come deep. He is strong, dynamic, and can play centrally as well as from the left

"In principle everything was ready, but due to the rules of La Liga we knew that we had to sell a player first. In the end it did not happen. Too bad, but Memphis also knew what the situation was.”

When asked about a January move, Koeman said: “It is certainly a possibility, yes. I will try, because I would like to have him here.

“But I cannot estimate now what the financial situation of the club is like in January."

Barcelona fell to a shock 1-0 defeat away to Getafe on Saturday, the first league loss of Koeman’s reign.

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