Barcelona know the transfer window closed with work to be done. The club's financial situation -- mainly the wage restrictions -- meant they had to pull out of a deal for Memphis Depay when an agreement was in place. They couldn't finalise the deal but the commitment to do the deal in January, when the Dutchman moves into the final six months of his contract, remains in place. Everything is agreed pending Barça being able to lighten the wage bill by removing a player that coach Ronald Koeman doesn't consider important for the final stretch of the campaign.
Barça never hid that their primary target was Lautaro Martinez. Not even the coronavirus saw them end their pursuit of the Inter Milan striker but they were unable to reach an agreement with the Italian club. Lautaro was holding on for the move but the price tag was too much. Koeman knew that when he was appointed but demanded a striker nonetheless. Depay emerged as an option, a player he knows well from his time as Netherlands boss and who was much cheaper than Lautaro due to his contract situation.
The club worked hard to do the deal. First, they moved on big earners, then they sold Semedo for a more than reasonable price. That allowed Barça to do a deal for Sergino Dest, but they were never able to get operations over the line for Manchester City defender Eric Garcia and Lyon's Depay. Both players are in the final year of their contracts.
Depay wanted and wants to play for Barça. In two months, they could solve the equation. All parties want the deal done in January. Barça want him for the second half of the campaign, Depay is desperate to move to Camp Nou and Lyon will be happy to get a fee before losing him for free next summer.
Barça are working on it and have not ruled out selling an attacker to make it happen. There are two options to make space on the wage bill. The Blaugrana will meet with Dembele's agents to make clear a January transfer is the best option for all involved. Dembele knows that if he wants to play he has to leave Camp Nou. The other option is Martin Braithwaite. In a normal market, Barça would have recovered the 18 million they spent on him in the summer. But everything has been complicated by coronavirus. The Dane has a good reputation and could go in January, although he would prefer to stay.
For Koeman, Depay would be an important player in his side due to his versatility and explosiveness. He could use him as a No9 but also on the wings.