Newcastle ‘to hand’ ex-Man United flop Premier League redemption

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Newcastle United are reportedly preparing to offer Memphis Depay an early escape route from Barcelona ahead of his summer contract expiry. Eddie Howe is looking to bolster his attack with a cut-price January deal for Depay, handing the Dutch forward a chance at Premier League redemption.

According to AS, the 28-year-old would rather stay at Barcelona until the end of the season and join another club as a free agent, pocketing a healthy signing-on fee. However, Newcastle are ready to attempt to tempt him with a winter return to the English top flight.

The report claims Newcastle are the most seriously interested of Depay’s suitors, and over the next few days, they will seek to secure his services next month. Barcelona are happy to cash in on him midway through the season so they can use the funds to boost Xavi’s squad for their La Liga title challenge and Europa League campaign.

Depay’s potential Premier League return would carry intrigue en masse, given his unsuccessful spell at United after completing a £25million switch in 2015. After Louis van Gaal’s 2016 exit, he followed shortly after and sealed a move to Lyon worth around £15m in January 2017.

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Depay arrived at Old Trafford as one of the Netherlands’ most promising young talents but has had to rebuild himself after his failed stint. He contributed just seven goals and six assists in 53 appearances across his one-and-a-half-year stay but has flourished into an elite forward.

The versatile forward made 178 appearances for Lyon, scoring 76 goals and providing 55 assists for the French giants. After joining Barcelona as a free agent in the summer of 2021, Memphis was the club’s top goalscorer in his maiden La Liga season with 12.

Howe is searching for attacking reinforcements to support his bid to guide Newcastle to Champions League football with a top-four finish this term, despite splashing a club-record £63m on Alexander Isak in the summer.

The Swedish striker has joined Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin on the injury table in recent months, leaving the Magpies boss eager for more numbers.

But it seems like Newcastle have a task on their hands to convince Depay to walk away from the Nou Camp before his contract expires. And in line with his commitment to building a harmonic dressing room, Howe could decide to delay a pursuit if his heart isn’t entirely in it.

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