Barcelona boss changes his mind on Dutch striker as Chelsea chase star

Barcelona celebrates the goal during the Liga match against Granada.

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez is set to allow American fullback Sergino Dest to depart on loan in the transfer window, per a report. 

Xavi has only selected 21-year old Dest for one match, a 1-0 defeat at home to Real Betis. Whilst a COVID-19 infection and a back injury have played their part, the coach has also brought in Dani Alves to bolster that position. According to Mundo Deportivo, Xavi is open to offers for the American.

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Sergi Roberto is another who can play at right full-back once he returns in late February from injury. Midfielder Nico González and centre-back Ronald Araujo can also deputise.

Chelsea have been strongly linked with a move for Dest. They’re looking for wing-back cover after injuries to Reece James and Ben Chilwell.

Reports now suggest that Barcelona would like to get Dest off their wage bill. As they signed Ferran Torres, they’re looking to balance the books. 

Xavi won over by de Jong?

One player who looked set for the exit door at Barcelona was Dutch striker Luuk de Jong. The target man is on loan for the season from Sevilla. However, reports have stated Barca’s hopes of ending the contract in the January window.

After scoring three goals in his last three matches, including against Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup semi-final on Wednesday, Xavi is wanting to now keep hold of the forward.

Although the addition of Ferran Torres, who played as a central striker at times for Man City, and the return to fitness of Ansu Fati could see De Jong benched, he brings another dimension to Barcelona’s attack.

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Los Blancos keep an eye on Barca defender

According to Sport, Real Madrid are keeping a close eye on the contract situation of Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo. He has excelled since the appointment of Xavi Hernandez as coach.

The 22-year-old Uruguayan central defender has less than 18 months left on his current contract. Barcelona’s financial issues mean they may not be in position to hand the defender the pay-rise he is demanding in order to renew his deal.

Madrid are watching how things unfold, despite the political problems that a move for a player from their arch-rivals would bring. Chelsea have also been linked with the defender in the past as a possible. This is as a replacement for Antonio Rudiger, should the German leave in the summer.

Barcelona, themselves, have been linked with a move for Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen at the end of the season. The Danish centre back’s contact has less than six months left to run. His refusal to renew has led to public frustration from coach, Thomas Tuchel.

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