Barcelona midfielder Sergi Roberto is reportedly a subject of interest from Premier League champions Manchester City ahead of the summer transfer window.
According to a report from Spanish publication El Gol Digital, newly-crowned Premier League champions Manchester City are considering a swoop on La Liga giants Barcelona for the signing of versatile midfielder Sergi Roberto in the upcoming transfer window.
Roberto is a product of Barcelona’s famed La Masia youth academy and burst into the first-team in 2010, under then-manager Pep Guardiola, who is currently the head coach at Manchester City. Primarily a central midfielder, the 29-year-old could never really established himself as a regular in the starting XI at Camp Nou in his preferred position and instead has had to make do with a role at right-back.
Till date, Roberto has made 304 appearances for Barcelona across all competitions, scoring 10 goals and setting up 36 more. The ongoing campaign has been a difficult one for the Spanish international, who has had to deal with coronavirus and multiple injuries as well, while the arrivals of Sergino Dest and Pedri have meant he has had to deal with added competition at right-back and central midfield, respectively.
With Roberto’s contract expiring in a little over a year and given his reduced involvement in the first-team of late, Barcelona are considering getting his wages off the bill amid the financial crunch. And, this situation has piqued the interest of Manchester City, with Guardiola himself said to be the driving force behind the interest in the 29-year-old.
The report states that the Premier League champions see Roberto as a cover at right-back as Joao Cancelo, who has had an excellent 2020/21 campaign, is courting interest from a number of other clubs ahead of the summer transfer window. Should the Portuguese leave, Kyle Walker would be left as the only out-and-out right-back at Guardiola’s disposal, making Roberto a viable target.
In addition, with Fernandinho, who is expected to sign a new contract with the Cityzens, entering the final phase of his career, his game-time needs to be managed. So, adding a utility man like Roberto, who could also cover for Rodri and Fernandinho in the middle of the park, would make sense for the Mancunian giants, especially given that Guardiola knows the player in and out.
To that end, Manchester City are now willing to offer as much as €25 million for Roberto, who is also being courted by Barcelona’s La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid. It now remains to be seen where the 29-year-old ends up but an exit from Camp Nou seems like a strong possibility come summer.