Memphis Depay has confirmed that both he and Lyon teammate Houssem Aouar are keen to move on from the Ligue 1 side and join one of the best clubs in the world.
Depay is a known target for Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman, while Aouar has been linked with Juventus in recent months. The latter was also heavily linked with Arsenal last summer prior to the Gunners capturing Thomas Partey, although a lack of Champions League football hardly makes them anything close to currently being one of the best clubs in the world.
While acknowledging Lyon’s stature – the French club reached the Champions League semi-finals last season for the first time in 10 years - Depay insists that he and Aouar now need a bigger stage and will improve dramatically if they are given one.
“We know we play for a very big club, but we want to go to one of the top three clubs in the world. Then you will see Houssem, he will get 10 times better. For me, it’s the same,” the Lyon captain told French broadcaster Canal+.
Depay did not elaborate on what clubs he considers to be the ‘top three’ in the world.
Aouar is still only 22 and in the relatively early stages of his career. But Depay will soon be 27 and has already had one opportunity in his career at a high profile transfer, joining Manchester United from PSV Eindhoven in the summer of 2015.
The Dutch forward arguably lacked the maturity to make it work at such a big club that stage of his career and struggled to justify his sizeable fee in his debut season under Louis van Gaal, before being shipped out halfway through his second by Jose Mourinho.
Big money transfers are not the norm in January, especially in the current climate when clubs all over Europe are counting the pennies like never before, meaning that Depay and Aouar would be unlikely to leave Lyon before the summer at the earliest.
That means staying put for the rest of this season and Depay has his eyes on winning the Ligue 1 title, which he says would ‘mean everything’. It would also break Paris Saint-Germain’s stranglehold on French football for the only the second time in nine seasons.