Barcelona get one “headache” off their books as the club is sending right-back Sergiño Dest to Serie A giants AC Milan.
As reported by Fabrizio Romano, it’s a loan deal with a purchase option that would see the Italian side pay €20 million with Dest signing a four-year deal.
Despite only having Sergi Roberto as a back-up option, the American did not seem to have a place in Xavi’s plans. The manager opted to use Ronald Araujo as a right-back in the opening two matches and Jules Kounde in the third match against Real Valladolid.
When asked about Dest’s future with Barcelona, Xavi did not mince words.
“He knows what the situation is,” Xavi said, less than two weeks ago.
The plan was to sign Cesar Azpilicueta from Chelsea but he ended up signing a new contract with the Blues.
During that same press conference, he ran down the list of names who could play right-back and omitted Dest from said list.
A move to AC Milan could be the best thing for Dest considering it is a World Cup year and he has plenty of competition to make the final cut for the U.S.
He arrived to Barcelona from Ajax two seasons ago under much fanfare. Early on, it looked like Barcelona had finally found the replacement for Dani Alves. But he quickly struggled under Ronald Koeman.
When Xavi was appointed manager, many believed he could get the best out of him since he was going to have a manager who would know how to utilize him like he was at Ajax. Again, he showed promise and strung a run of good games until he got injured in the late stages of the Europa League.
He hasn’t been able to recover the form he showed before the injury and he fell from Xavi’s good graces.
There was interest from Manchester United and Villarreal but Dest has chosen to join the Serie A champions. It’s a move that could benefit all sides especially if Milan decide to use him further up the pitch.
As for Barcelona, barring any last minute surprise, it looks like they’ll trudge through the season with Sergi Roberto as first choice and then using either Kounde or Araujo in the more important games.