Manchester United defensive target Sergino Dest has no intention of quitting Barcelona this month, according to a report in Spain.
The Barcelona right-back made all the pre-match headlines at the weekend as he was left out of the squad to face Rayo Vallecano. Xavi decided not to have a back-up for Sergi Roberto in his matchday squad.
It was a clear message from Xavi that the USA international is not trusted by the Barca boss. Fortunately though the talk after the match focused on Barca’s inability to get past a Rayo Vallecano who dug in for an unlikely point.
Dest, 21, though remains out of favour at the Camp Nou and available for transfer.
That has led to interest from Erik ten Hag who managed the player at Ajax. And on Monday Sport, via Sport Witness reported that Manchester United had “accelerated” their interest in Dest.
The exit of right-back Ethan Laird to Queens Park Rangers on a season-long loan leaves Erik ten Hag with only Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot as right-back options.
It’s reported that Ten Hag’s plan is to keep Dalot, who has started the first two Premier League games, and go after €20m-rated Dest.
Sergino Dest vs Barcelona in battle of wills
Now though, Mundo Deportivo claim that Dest is well aware of what was meant by his exclusion from the squad. But he remains determined to stay at Barcelona and he is confident he can win his place back.
Dest though is settled in Catalonia and has a contract until 2025. The player is understood to feel “pressured” and almost obliged to accept a move away, but his stance remains firm.
The Dutch-born USMNT international trusts his own ability and is sure he can win over Xavi.
Similarly to Frenkie de Jong’ situation at the club, the next two weeks will be a battle of wills. Manchester United are the main club hunting for Dest. And Barca will hope the player’s desire to play games ahead of the World Cup will see him opt to move on.
Dest though has shown resolve up until this point. While a further complication for Barca is that Xavi must now look elsewhere for a replacement.
The Spanish coach was intent on landing Cesar Azpilicueta from Chelsea, but that move collapsed.