Sergi Roberto, a prime target for Manchester United and Juventus, has reportedly told Barcelona that he wants to leave the club this summer.
According to Manchester Evening News, Manchester United and Juventus have both been handed a huge boost in the pursuit of Sergi Roberto, who has reportedly told Barcelona that he wishes to leave Nou Camp this summer in what could be another huge blow to the Catalan outfit.
Sergi Roberto has managed to successfully establish himself in the first-team setup after emerging from their fabled La Masia academy. It was under the tutelage of Luis Enrique that the player really became a part of the core squad, although, his inclusion was more based on the club’s immediate need to fill the right-back slot.
And as many academy graduates have done for their respective clubs in the past, Roberto obliged by plying his trade as a makeshift right-back; and to much success. So much so that the player became one of the first names on the team sheet whenever available.
Sergi Roberto made more interceptions (48) in LaLiga last season than any other Barcelona player.
Mind reader. 💆♂️ pic.twitter.com/LpstKIRP5u
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 16, 2017
However, Ernesto Valverde, Barcelona’s new gaffer, has iterated his desire to play Roberto in the midfield only, especially after the capture of Nelson Semedo to guard the right side of the defence. The Spaniard, though, is being tailed by the biggest of clubs in Europe, with Manchester United, Chelsea and Juventus all lining up for the player.
Manchester United are looking to add another player to the squad and while Roberto may be a natural midfielder, his performances at right-back have opened the possibility of the player making the makeshift spot his own. United have managed to convert Antonio Valencia into a right-back and the Ecuadorian looks like a beast at the position now.
Similarly, Sergi Roberto could do the same at Old Trafford. However, Juventus are also exploring the possibility of bringing the player in, probably as a replacement for the seemingly outbound Alex Sandro or to add cover to the position, with Blaise Matuidi beefing up the Bianconeri midfield.
Roberto has added fuel to the fire as per the report, with the Spaniard having made his intention to ply his trade elsewhere clear to Barcelona, who are already in disarray with the business or lack of conducted so far.
Juventus, Chelsea, Milan and MU are ready to pay sergi roberto’s release clause worth € 40 M.
— Angga Nelson (@mr_emon28) August 16, 2017
It is reported that while Valverde has stated that he will field Roberto in the midfield, their pursuit of Jean Michael Seri, which will increase the competition for places in the area, has made the Spaniard unhappy and he is looking to move on, especially with the player reportedly having a €40 million release clause.
United and Juventus could both pounce at the opportunity and it would be interesting to see if Barcelona can convince the player to stay at the club.