Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has claimed that the attacker is in talks with his club to become a free agent in the coming weeks.
He Tweeted: “Excl: Barcelona and Memphis Depay lawyers are in negotiations to reach an agreement on free agency. No way for €20m fee. Depay will accept to leave Barça only in case he’ll find the right option for his future. # Memphis Depay will only consider top clubs.”
90min reported last month that the striker was offered to the Magpies as the club look at strengthening their attacking options before the end of the window.
Newcastle could now land the Netherlands international without having to pay a penny in transfer fees if this agreement between him and Barcelona goes through.
By bringing in the forward for nothing, PIF could land Eddie Howe a big upgrade on misfiring striker Chris Wood for the 2022/23 campaign.
The Magpies signed the New Zealand international from Burnley in the January window but he struggled to prove his worth for the club in the second half of the season.
He was given plenty of opportunities to catch the eye of Howe as he played 17 matches in the Premier League. However, he ended that run with two goals and zero assists to his name – with one of his strikes coming from open play.
Meanwhile, Memphis produced 12 goals and two assists in 20 starts in La Liga for Barcelona. His former manager at international level, Ronald Koeman, previously hailed his quality at the top end of the pitch, saying:
“He has freedom here, that’s what he needs to be the best Memphis. He can do that in this team. When he’s a lone striker he tends to drift back too much, so we have a hole up front.
“But when he plays between the lines, like in the last part, he was so strong. He’s turning, attacking, he’s a joy to watch.”
The gem also caught the eye when he was playing in France for Lyon. In his last two campaigns in Ligue 1, he managed to rack up 29 goals and 14 assists, which shows that he has the ability to make a huge impact in the final third – having proven himself in two major European leagues.
He would, therefore, be a considerable upgrade on Wood as his statistics suggest that he would offer far more to the team both in terms of finding the back of the net and setting up teammates.