Chelsea are very interested in signing Barcelona right-back Sergino Dest, Spanish publication Sport (today’s edition, page 2&3) claims.
The futures of Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso are also in doubt, and Sport reports that Barcelona have now entered talks with Chelsea over the potential transfer of the Spanish duo.
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia is playing a key role in the negotiations and it is added that the club are ‘very interested’ in signing Dest in a swap deal for the experienced defensive pair.
However, Dest – who’s valued at £16m – is not considering the prospect of leaving for now. Goalkeeper Neto is the other player mentioned as a transfer candidate for the west London giants.
Dest has had an injury-plagued campaign for Barcelona (missing 14 games) but has been a regular when fit and available. He is a right-back by trade, but is also comfortable playing at left-back.
His versatile attributes could make him an ideal addition for Chelsea, who may need cover in both full-back/wing-back positions if Azpilicueta and Alonso head for the exit door.
The main concern for Dest could be his playing time. With Ben Chilwell likely to be fit next season, the 21-year-old could find himself playing second fiddle to him and Reece James.
One possible solution could be to play James on the right side of the back three to accommodate Dest at right wing-back, but that would limit the creativity of the former in the final third.
It remains to be seen whether Chelsea can convince the United States international to join them. Else, Chelsea could return their attention to pursuing the services of goalkeeper Neto.
The Brazilian has been Blaugrana’s deputy shot-stopper and could come in as a replacement for the Blues’ number two Kepa Arrizabalaga, who could be on his way out this summer.
Chelsea made a huge outlay of £72 million to land the Spanish shot-stopper from Athletic Bilbao in 2018, and may look to cut their losses on him with three more years left on his contract.