According to the Daily Mirror, Manchester United are set to activate Sergi Roberto’s £36.5 million release clause to bring him to Old Trafford this summer.
The Barcelona player has been linked to us throughout the summer transfer window but no deal has been made and we’re already two games into our 2017-18 season if you include the UEFA Super Cup.
Sergi Roberto is a utility player whose predominant position is centre midfield, but is also capable of playing at right-back, and has even spent brief spells out on the right wing for the Spanish giants. He has seen more and more game time at Barcelona over the past two seasons but only has three caps for the Spanish national team. He doesn’t get involved in too many goals but does have a decent cross on him from what I’ve seen.
Where the reports are coming from, I am not sure, but having only signed Nemanja Matic to play the holding midfield role earlier this summer, I take these reports with a pinch of salt.
We already have Michael Carrick as backup to Matic, with Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba and Juan Mata all competing for two more central midfield places. So what makes the media think Sergi Roberto would come to Old Trafford to sit on the bench is beyond me. What’s more, I’m not convinced Jose Mourinho would splash such money on a backup player either.
United are constantly linked with players who can play in the right-back position but we’ve yet to sign a single one under the Portuguese manager. That’s probably because he knows we already have one of the best in the Premier League.
Although Antonio Valencia has recently turned 32, he’s always been a fit and energetic player and certainly has a few more seasons left in him, much like Patrice Evra is still playing at a high level, now 36 years of age.
We also have an excellent prospect in Timothy Fosu-Mensah who can play both the right-back and centre-back roles and is getting much more Premier League experience under his belt this season on loan at Crystal Palace. Potentially to be part of our first-team on a more regular basis for next season.
Matteo Darmian is another backup we have to Valencia at right-back which makes it more baffling why we’re being linked with Sergi Roberto.
Roberto himself has become more of a regular in the Barcelona team over the past two seasons making 31 La Liga appearances (21 starts) in 2015-16 and 32 appearances (26 starts) last season. Though it’s not know whether he is part of the new manager’s plans. Ernesto Valverde had him on the substitutes’ bench in Sunday’s 3-1 Super Cup first leg loss to Real Madrid.
What is your opinion on Sergi Roberto and the transfer rumour? Where would he fit into our squad? Leave a comment below.