Sources: Dest’s Barca future unclear after snub

Sergino Dest faces an uncertain future at Barcelona after being left out of the squad for Wednesday’s 3-2 defeat to Real Madrid in the Spanish Supercopa but is determined to fight for his place, sources have told ESPN.

Teams from around Europe, including Bayern Munich and Chelsea, are monitoring Dest’s situation, but sources close to the United States international have told ESPN he hopes to stay at Camp Nou beyond the January transfer window and prove his worth.

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However, sources at the club refuse to rule out an exit this month. The right-back has fallen out of favour under new coach Xavi Hernandez and his departure could help fund a move for a new striker.

Barca have already signed Dani Alves and Ferran Torres this month but Xavi would like to add a No.9 as well. Alvaro Morata is a target but Juventus, where he is on loan at from Atletico Madrid, are reluctant to let him leave without a replacement lined up.

ESPN first revealed in December that Barca would be open to offers for Dest in January. Dest, though, would prefer to stay in Spain and fight for his place.

The player’s camp believe Xavi is yet to see the best of the USMNT defender. Dest has suffered from several injuries this season and, at the request of the club, played while not fully fit in November and December in an unfamiliar attacking role to help the team, which set back his recovery.

Dest, who also tested positive for COVID-19 at the start of January, is fully fit again and ready to compete for a place at right-back with Alves, who is now 38, and academy graduate Oscar Mingueza. ESPN have also revealed that Barca are pursuing a move for Chelsea full-back Cesar Azpilicueta when his contract expires in the summer.

Emerson Royal and Arthur Melo previously took similar stances to Dest before being convinced to leave Barca. Arthur eventually agreed to join Juventus in the summer of 2020 and Emerson moved to Tottenham Hotspur at the start of this campaign.

Barca signed Dest from Ajax for €20 million, beating Bayern to his signature. The German club have remained in contact with the player since, though, and sounded out a loan move ahead of this season with an option to make the deal permanent next summer for around €25m.

Chelsea, who have lost Reece James and Ben Chilwell to injury, have also shown an interest in a short-term deal until the end of the season. Several other Premier League sides are also tracking the situation along with Atletico Madrid, although they are pushing ahead with a move for Valencia’s Daniel Wass to replace Kieran Trippier.

Dest, 21, became a regular under Ronald Koeman quickly after joining 18 months ago. He has made 41 appearances in his first full campaign at Camp Nou, but injuries have disrupted his second season, limiting him to just 16 games so far in all competitions.

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