Memphis Depay transfer from Manchester United to Lyon close, says Jean-Michel Aulas
By James Dale
Last Updated: 20/01/17 1:49pm
Memphis Depay should become a Lyon player in the next 48 hours, according to the club's president Jean-Michel Aulas.
Sky Sports News HQ understands Manchester United have agreed to sell Depay to the French club for a fee which could rise to £21.7m, and will also include a buy-back option as well as sell-on clauses.
Depay has failed to live up to expectations at Old Trafford since moving for £25m in 2015, making just one start under Jose Mourinho this season, and Aulas admits they have gambled on the 22-year-old.
"We've bet on a player who wants to show his immense talent," Aulas told RMC Sport. "There was a lot of interest in him from his time with Holland and in Eindhoven, where he had two fantastic seasons.
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"When you see him developing, you get the impression that he really wants to show his immense talent. So we hope, as we hoped with the women's team by bringing in [US women's international] Alex Morgan, and we are not disappointed."
Depay travelled to France earlier this week to complete a deal to join Lyon and Aulas is confident the transfer will be wrapped up imminently even though a number of issues are yet to be resolved.
"It was a dream because he corresponds exactly with the player we were looking for," Aulas added. "In addition, he has a certain panache.
"It's true that Jose Mourinho didn't play him that much, so there was an opportunity for us to negotiate with Manchester United.
"For the moment, we've got an agreement in principle but we still need to write up a contract, which is a bit complicated because there are quite a few bonuses.
"This is a big operation, because I think it will be around 16.5million euros, with up to eight million in bonuses. It's a major investment.
"It's ongoing but it will take, I think, another 48 hours for him to be registered."
Lyon host Marseille, who sit two places below them in Ligue 1, this weekend looking to extend the four-point gap between the sides, but they will likely have to do without Depay unless a move can be completed quicker than expected.
Asked if Depay might be an option for that match, Aulas said: "I think that will be a little early, because at the moment we have not finalised all the documents.
"If it takes 24 hours, then he could play. If it's a little more, he will not be available on Sunday."