New Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has ruled out any chance of Manchester United, or any other club, signing midfielder Sergi Roberto this summer.
The 25-year-old had been strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford this summer despite becoming more of a regular in the first-team at the Catalan club over the past two seasons.
Sergi Roberto made 47 appearances during his two seasons under Luis Enrique at Barcelona before reports hinted that we would be making a move for him this summer following the arrival of Valverde at Camp Nou.
The three-time Spanish international had started off as a right-back at Barcelona and the big money signing of Nelson Semedo from Benfica earlier this summer increased speculation that the youth academy product would be shown the door by the Spanish giants.
However, Sergi Roberto has been pushed into a central midfield position before starting last night’s loss to rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup as the right wingback in a 3-5-2 formation.
United, along with Chelsea, Juventus and AC Milan had all been linked with a €40 million move for the utility play – the price of his buy-out clause.
Any chance United had of signing Sergi Roberto this summer have been ruled out by manager Ernesto Valverde. Speaking to reporters after last night’s game, the Barcelona boss said that the player is a key part of his team:
“Of course, I am absolutely counting on him.
“In some games he will be a major player and in some games no, but he remains an important player.”
As we’ve already signed Nemanja Matic in centre midfield and have one of the best right-backs in the Premier League in Antonio Valencia, I couldn’t see Sergi Roberto as anything more than a squad player at United anyway.