The Netherlands international joined the Blaugrana on a free transfer last summer and it was anticipated that he would form an excellent attacking partnership alongside Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi.
However, the scenario became completely different. Messi signed for Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer while Griezmann returned to Atletico Madrid before the summer transfer deadline.
Depay has impressed with eight goals and two assists from 16 La Liga outings, but he no longer appears an assured starter after the club’s rampant transfer business during the winter transfer window.
Ferran Torres, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Adama Traore were all signed to bolster the attack. Traore arrived on loan, but the Catalan giants are quite clear that they want him on a permanent deal.
Depay may not be an undisputed starter when he returns from a muscular injury. He could reportedly be one of ‘three strikers’ leaving this summer alongside Martin Braithwaite and Luuk de Jong.
The Blaugrana are working on an ‘ideal scenario’ of pairing Torres and Ansu Fati with Dortmund’s Haaland in attack. They may look to recoup part of the funds from Depay’s summer departure.
The 27-year-old only signed a short-term deal last summer and will enter the final 12 months of his contract in July. Despite this, the club should command a reasonable fee through his sale.
Depay is currently in the prime of his playing career, and his impressive goal scoring record in recent years should attract plenty of interest from European clubs in the next transfer window.
A summer departure could also be ideal for the attacker himself. Depay could attempt to run down his contract, but the lack of regular first-team football could have a direct impact on his international career.
Louis van Gaal recently axed Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek citing his lack of league minutes. Depay would not want to end up in a similar position ahead of the World Cup this winter.