The report suggests that such interest had led the Netherlands international to stick to his €9m (£7.6m) per year wage demands during negotiations with the Serie A giants, with the Old Lady unwilling to finance the deal having failed to offload Adrien Rabiot to the Red Devils.
Further reports from Spain have indicated that the 80-cap sensation has offers on the table from ‘several Premier League clubs’, and it wouldn’t appear too much of a stretch to suggest that Eddie Howe’s side could be among the potential suitors.
Depay has become one of the most notable victims of the financial turmoil which has engulfed the Catalan giants, with the La Liga club seemingly desperate to move him on in order to free up space on their already sizeable wage bill.
Despite only joining on a free transfer from Lyon last summer, the former PSV Eindhoven gem appears surplus to requirements following the arrival of Bayern Munich marksman Robert Lewandowski, with Xavi already having a wealth of attacking talent at his disposal.
That the £31.5m-rated man is the one who could give way is something of a shock, though, with the versatile forward having impressed in his time at the club thus far, despite struggling with injuries last term.
The £169k-per-week talent recorded a respectable haul of 12 goals in just 28 league games during the 2021/22 campaign – only 20 of which came from the start – while he netted in the recent friendly against Manchester City.
The “terrific” gem – as dubbed by Patrick Vieira – has proven to be a potent threat in the final third throughout his career, scoring 76 goals and providing 56 assists in 178 matches during his time in France.
While his underwhelming previous stint at Old Trafford is a rare black mark on an otherwise impressive CV, the playmaker had recorded 79 goal contributions in just 124 games during his spell in Netherlands prior to joining the Red Devils.
His prospective arrival at St James’ Park could bolster a forward line which has already been strengthened by the signing of Swedish sensation Alexander Isak, with the 22-year-old joining on a £59m deal from Real Sociedad earlier this week.
Having previously walked away from a deal for the 6 foot 4 menace, Howe and co had a late change of heart and opted to splash the cash on the impressive youngster, with fresh injury concerns regarding Callum Wilson no doubt a factor in that decision.
Having his imposing presence in attack flanked by Depay is a hugely mouthwatering prospect, and it’s easy to image the torment that the pair could inflict on Premier League defences, such is their obvious attacking threat.