Barcelona have been reportedly contacted by Premier League champions Manchester City over a potential summer deal for versatile midfielder Sergi Roberto.
According to a report from SPORT, Premier League bigwigs Manchester City are interested in raiding Barcelona for the signing of utility man Sergi Roberto in the summer and have been in touch with the Catalan giants to assess the possibility of a switch.
Roberto is a product of Barcelona’s famed La Masia youth setup and made his breakthrough at the first-team level under Pep Guardiola, who is now the manager of Manchester City. Primarily a central midfielder, the 29-year-old has had to remould himself into a right-back over the past couple of seasons in order to boost his playing time.
Nevertheless, Roberto has been in and out of the starting XI at Camp Nou and with his contract set to expire in a year, he may be staring at an exit from Barcelona in the upcoming transfer window. Indeed, the Blaugrana are intent on raking in some cash by player sales as they look set for a major summer rebuild, while also try to trim their wage bill.
To that end, Roberto, who is not a regular starter, could be considered as expendable this summer, with Manchester City now waiting in the wings to make a swoop for the 29-year-old. Having failed to lift the UEFA Champions League trophy in the season gone by, Guardiola is eyeing key additions to the squad in order to go all the way next time around.
Manchester City have, thus, been linked with a move for Real Madrid veteran Sergio Ramos, who would add a lot of value with his experience. Now, they are also targeting Roberto as the 29-year-old is held in high regard by Guardiola, who is said to be a fan of the Spaniard’s work-rate, attitude and professionalism, not to forget the versatility that he offers.
With Fernandinho in the last leg of his gloried career at Manchester City and Ilkay Gundogan’s past tryst with injuries, bringing in someone like Roberto would help Manchester City add more cover in central midfield while he can also operate as a backup to Kyle Walker or Joao Cancelo at right-back as well.
Roberto, for his part, prefers to stay at Barcelona, but would consider an exit in case he is informed by the club that he will not be a major part of the plans going forward. The Catalans are looking at the interest from Manchester City as an opportunity to get rid of his €10 million-a-season wages, while there is also the hope that he could be used as sort of a makeweight in their attempt to land transfer target Aymeric Laporte from the Etihad.
It now remains to be seen if Barcelona and Manchester City are able to work out a deal that would see Roberto end up in the Premier League come next season.