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Memphis Depay: Officially presented as an FC Barcelona player

Depay, Laporta, Alemany and Yuste at the presentation ceremony / Lluis Gene / AFP

After over a month of the announcement, Memphis Depay was officially presented as an FC Barcelona player today at the Camp Nou. Laporta, Rafa Yuste, Mateu Alemany and Depay all spoke at the held press conference.

After completing his move to Barcelona over a month ago, Dutch forward Memphis Depay was officially presented today as an FC Barcelona player at the Camp Nou. President Joan Laporta and Depay appeared first for the signing of the contract. Depay was then presented with the FC Barcelona jersey by Joan Laporta, Mateu Alemany and Rafa Yuste, after which he went on to dress in the Blaugrana colors for the very first time and made his way to the Camp Nou pitch.

Memphis Depay wears the Barcelona kit for the first time / FC BARCELONA

Memphis Depay arrives at FC Barcelona from Olympique Lyon as a free agent, with a contract until 2023 and a release clause set at 500 million euros.

After the presentation, Depay, Laporta, Mateu Alemany and Rafa Yuste all sat down for the press conference.

Here’s what president Joan Laporta had to say:

President Joan Laporta speaks at the press conference / ERIC ALONSO / GETTY IMAGES

On Memphis Depay

“Memphis is a player with a lot of personality, on and off the field, I think we need this type of player. We agreed because there was a lot of goodwill on both sides. I want to thank Memphis’ team because from the first moment, they showed their willingness to want to play for Barça, and those are the players we want in our team. Today we incorporate a great player, with great values.”

On the salary issue

“The players that we have been adding can be registered, you already know the situation that is also inherited. The ratio that we have does not put us in order to sign new players, but we are doing a good job with LaLiga, with Mateu Alemany up front. We have to follow the rules, but we have confidence, either by reducing the salary mass or some formula that is acceptable for La Liga. There is good will with LaLiga, the president of LaLiga is the first interested party that there are great players like Memphis. It’s a problem that exists, but we are confident that we will solve it.” 

On Antoine Griezmann

“Griezmann has a contract with Barça, unless there are movements, we count on the player. We cannot deny an interest in the player, and that shows his quality.”

On Messi’s Renewal

“The player has always said he wants to continue, we are making progress in the negotiations involved in a contract of this nature. Rafa Yuste and Mateu are working hard and it is a dream that we want to make come true. And we want him to continue playing with extremely talented footballers like Memphis.”

“In due course you will know the news that we are all waiting for, now I cannot go into the details of the negotiations, I can only say that it is progressing adequately and that both parties are making good progress, it’s about both parties being satisfied. Leo is enjoying a well-deserved vacation, and they have a team here working to make a contract.”

On the rumored Griezmann-Saúl swap deal

“The market begins to move now, we are building our squad looking for financial balance because we have to comply with the rules. With Antoine we have no problems, if the market moves, we are open to all proposals that arrive because we have to comply with the ‘fair-play’. These balances that have to be made, we are doing them, we are open to studying all the proposals that are presented in the market, but knowing that we are going to make a team that is very competitive.”

On the Umtiti and Pjanic situation

“We respect all our players, when we talk to them, we do it directly. You tell me about two players who had little participation last season, who for now have shown great involvement. We will see what happens.”

Here’s what Memphis Depay had to say:

Memphis Depay at the press conference / ERIC ALONSO / GETTY IMAGES

On signing for Barcelona

“It is an honor to be here, I fulfill a dream I had as a child. The deal has been completed thanks to both parties. I thank the president and his board. I realize how great this club is and the impact it had on me as a child. Fulfilling my dream at 27 is something very surprising and fantastic, I am delighted to be here, the team is ready for the new season and to start collecting trophies. Thanks also to the coach for trusting me, he knows that with the confidence he gives me, I can give something back to the club. God will also help me.”

“I have always had the ambition to play for one of the great clubs in the world, after losing here with Lyon, I told myself that I had to push myself and now I’m here.”

On playing with Leo Messi

“I really want to play with Leo, I’m a big fan of his. He’s the best player in the world and we saw what he did at the Copa America. He has many qualities, we would all like to do what he does. Yesterday I saw all the Ballon d’Ors at the museum, probably another one soon, it’s a dream to play with Leo Messi.”

On Koeman’s importance in him moving to Barcelona

“I would have come without Koeman because you can’t say no to Barça, but Koeman has had an important role because he put me as a center forward in the national team, he has made me feel comfortable and I have to thank him. Before, I played left winger and he put me in the center and it worked. He has taken the step of bringing me to Barça and I was ready since last season. He was an influence, but I would have come anyway.” 

On if he’s concerned about not being able to get registered

“No, I am not concerned at all, first I am focused on the game, and then the president has already commented that they are looking for creative formulas. I am sure that the president and the board will take care of them and with the return of the fans to the stadium, it will surely be different.” 

On the arrival of Van Gaal as Dutch coach

“It’s a positive thing, he helped me a lot, he took me to the World Cup when I was only 20 years old and then he took me to United.”

Here’s what Mateu Alemany had to say:

Mateu Alemany at the press conference / ERIC ALONSO / GETTY IMAGES

On the salary issue and Griezmann rumors

“The market is moving, but there is little we can say right now. We value Antoine, he is a top player, but given the situation, it will be difficult for an interesting offer to arrive.”

On the Umtiti and Pjanic situation

“They both have very important careers, last year they had little prominence, we know the opinion of the coach and the possibilities they will have to play in the team. They know the situation and we are evaluating the possibility of finding a way out for them. They are the first interested in knowing the minutes they can have.”

Here’s what Rafa Yuste had to say:

Rafa Yuste at the press conference / ERIC ALONSO / GETTY IMAGES

On welcoming Memphis and the financial situation

“I want to thank Memphis’ family for their involvement, they are a family and that is what we like here. The players are understanding the difficult economic situation of the club.”

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