Newcastle United could well have been handed the ideal opportunity to strengthen their forward ranks on the cheap in the New Year, with reports in Spain having claimed that the Magpies have been offered the chance to sign Barcelona’s Memphis Depay on a cut-price deal next month.
The suggestion is that the 28-year-old could well be available for as little as €10m (£9m) in the January window, with the La Liga giants looking to cash in with just six months remaining on the playmaker’s current contract at Camp Nou.
The Netherlands international has largely been on the periphery in Catalonia since his move from Lyon back in the summer of 2021, although the 86-cap gem still boasts a respectable haul of 14 goals in just 41 games for the club to date.
Simply a “joy to watch” when in his pomp – in the words of former Holland boss Ronald Koeman – the fleet-footed forward was particularly impressive during his time in France, having scored 76 goals and provided 55 assists in 178 games in all competitions for the Ligue 1 outfit.
Although the £172k-per-week man’s previous spell in the Premier League proved ultimately forgettable – as he scored just seven times in 53 games for Manchester United – the experienced asset has typically thrived at the elite level over the years, notably scoring in the win over the USA at the World Cup in Qatar in recent times.
Were Newcastle boss Eddie Howe to bring Depay to St James’ Park, the deal would not only help to bolster his firepower, but also evoke memories of another Dutchman to have arrived in the northeast from Barcelona in the form of Patrick Kluivert.
The now-retired striker was snapped up by Sir Bobby Robson back in the summer of 2004, with the former Ajax youth product having made the move to England on a free transfer after coming towards the end of his contract with La Blaugrana.
Although the marksman’s spell at the club would ultimately prove rather brief – as he returned to the Spanish top flight to join Valencia just a year later – he certainly made his mark with the Magpies, having been lauded as a “special player” by ex-teammate Jermaine Jenas only recently.
Even if the deal may not have panned out quite as intended, as the swift nature of his exit can illustrate, Kluivert was still able to showcase his undoubted class in attack amid injury woes, having recorded a respectable tally of 13 goals in 37 games in all competitions during that 2004/05 campaign.
The hope would be that the addition of Depay could prove even more fruitful were he to join in 2023, with the case of his compatriot having illustrated that being able to sign such a high-profile figure for a bargain price is simply too good an opportunity to turn down.
With the former Red Devils man boasting a haul of 147 goals in his club career thus far at senior level, the chances are he could prove to be a real coup for Howe and co.