Manchester United are reportedly considering activating Sergi Roberto’s €40 million release clause to land the Spaniard this summer.
Spanish publication Don Balon have reported that Sergi Roberto could be on his way out of Camp Nou following the arrival of Paulinho. The Barcelona midfielder is attracting interest from Manchester United who are willing to activate his €40 million to sign him this summer.
Roberto progressed through the ranks at Barcelona before finally breaking into the first-team setup in 2013. Since then, the player has gradually established himself as a key figure in the senior squad, having been one of the most indispensable figures in Luis Enrique’s side.
His big break, though, came as right-back as Roberto’s versatility came to the fore, with the player being a natural midfielder. Nevertheless, with Barcelona struggling to find a replacement for Dani Alves, the 25-year-old managed to play 47 times on the right side of defence ahead of Aleix Vidal.
With the Catalan club signing Nelson Semedo this summer, Roberto is believed to be set to reprise his preferred role of a midfielder in the forthcoming season. However, his place in the pecking order has suddenly become uncertain, with Barcelona securing the services of Paulinho.
Barcelona spending €40m on a 29-year-old Paulinho rather than push 25-year-old Sergi Roberto into his favoured CM role is ridiculous. pic.twitter.com/MbKQNf09YI
— UNILAD Football (@UNILADFooty) August 14, 2017
The Brazilian’s arrival means Ernesto Valverde has a number of options to consider to play at the heart of midfield, meaning Roberto might become a bit-part player under the new Barcelona boss. The player has no dearth of interest, with Manchester United set to make a move for him.
The Red Devils have been busy in the transfer market this summer. But Jose Mourinho has already made it clear that he is not completely satisfied with his club’s transfer business, asking for a wide player as the final reinforcement – either a winger or a full-back.
With Roberto already showing that he is adept at playing as a right-back as easily as he is as a midfielder, he has emerged as a viable target for Manchester United.
Mourinho does not have much to choose from beyond Antonio Valencia on the right side of defence following Timothy Fosu-Mensah’s loan move to Crystal Palace, with Matteo Darmian largely deployed as a left-back.
Additionally, Roberto could be another option at the centre of the park for the Manchester United boss, who has asserted the need to have strength in depth ahead of the club’s participation in four competitions this season. Therefore, the Red Devils are set to activate the player’s €40 million release clause.
And the report suggests that Paulinho’s arrival could force Roberto into considering a move away from Camp Nou as his game time could be affected considerably. It now remains to be seen if Manchester United can succeed in their pursuit of the Spaniard, having already had a bid rejected for him recently.