Barcelona have identified PSV Eindhoven's Donyell Malen as their 'plan B' should they fail to sign Lyon forward Memphis Depay in January.
Memphis - who is now into the final year of his contract - was heavily linked with a move to Camp Nou during the summer transfer window. And while it appeared as though he would eventually make the switch to team up with Ronald Koeman, La Blaugrana were unable to conclude a deal in time.
Depay himself opened up on the failed move, claiming there were 'certain rules' which stopped the deal from going through. However, the Catalan giants are expected to make another attempt to sign the 26-year-old in January.
Mundo Deportivo now report that Barça have, however, come up with a backup plan in PSV's Malen.
The 21-year-old was part of Arsenal's academy, but the Premier League outfit opted to allow him to depart for PSV in the summer of 2017. Malen enjoyed an extremely impressive 2019/20 campaign, grabbing 17 goals and providing a further nine assists in just 25 appearances in all competitions while operating mainly as the centre forward.
He has carried that fine form into the new season as well, and already has five goals and two assists to his name. Of course, the forward knows Koeman well from their time together with the Dutch national team. In fact, the now Barcelona boss handed Malen his senior international debut back in September of 2019, with the youngster coming on to make an immediate impact by scoring the Netherlands' third goal in a 4-2 win over Germany.
There is no mention of a fee in Mundo Deportivo's report, but PSV will likely be reluctant to see Malen depart. However, he could prove to be a very shrewd signing for Barça if indeed they do turn to him, as they now enter into a new era.
Still only 21, Malen has all the attributes to succeed at Camp Nou and while he mainly operates through the middle, he can also play on the wing. Depay has been identified as a prime target by Koeman for a while now, but should they fail to land his signature, they could turn to Malen.