Chelsea are reportedly open to the prospect of signing Sergino Dest, who Barcelona could sell in the summer transfer window of next year.
According to a report from Catalan publication El Nacional, Chelsea have set their sights on Barcelona defender Sergino Dest with the Blues ready to offer €25 million for the 20-year-old full-back.
Dest came through the youth ranks at AFC Ajax and made 38 senior appearances for the Dutch giants before signing for Barcelona in the summer of 2020. The 20-year-old right-back did not have the most memorable of debut campaigns in Catalonia. While there were signs of promise, there was a serious lack of consistency while he was also prone to defensive lapses.
Nonetheless, Dest enjoyed the confidence of Ronald Koeman, who decided to hold on to the USMNT international in the summer and offload new signing Emerson Royal. However, the former Ajax ace has not performed at the expected level, even though he has three assists in 15 games across all competitions.
With Koeman not at Barcelona anymore, the report mentioned above claims that his soon-to-be successor Xavi does not see the United States defender as a big part of his plans going forward. As a result, the Catalans are already preparing to offload the right-back come summer of next year, piquing the interest of Chelsea.
The Blues have one of the best right wing-backs in England in the form of Reece James, who showed his quality this past weekend against Newcastle United. However, as far as backups for the Chelsea academy graduate go, Thomas Tuchel is thinly stretched in options. Callum Hudson-Odoi has been used in the position, but he is much more comfortable playing further up the pitch.
Club captain Cesar Azpilicueta is also an option for Tuchel, but the Spaniard will be out of contract at the end of the season. Even if he pens a new deal, the veteran star is not getting any younger either. So, bringing in a new right-sided wing-back would make a lot of sense for Chelsea, making Dest a viable target to consider.
The 20-year-old’s natural attacking instincts would make him a good fit in Tuchel’s side, while the added protection of having another centre-back to cover would allow him the freedom to flourish. To that end, Chelsea are now said to be ready to shell out a sum of €25 million for the ex-Ajax starlet.
However, as per the report, Barcelona president Joan Laporta would demand a fee of €35 million for Dest in the summer of next year. What remains to be seen is if Chelsea turn their early interest in the right-back into a formal approach come the next summer transfer window.