Chelsea are set to steal a march on PSG and Bayern Munich in the race to sign USA defender Sergino Dest, but may have to convince the player to leave Barcelona.
That is according to reports from Spanish outlet Sport, who believe the 21-year-old has been made available by Barca this month. However, the reports also claim that Dest wants to stay in Spain, if possible, and may need to be convinced if he is to leave the Catalan giants.
Dest, a £19m singing from Ajax in October 2020, has made 16 appearances for the La Liga side this season, yet could be moved on in order to raise much needed funds for the cash-strapped club. Barcelona are looking to rebuild under new coach Xavi Hernandez, yet remain woefully hamstrung by extravagant spending made under previous managers. The reality of Barca's financial crisis was laid bare in the summer, as talisman Lionel Messi was forced to leave after 17 years in the first team.
While Dest would prefer to fight for his place, his position has put several elite clubs on high alert. PSG and Bayern Munich – the latter of which attempted to sign Dest before Barcelona swooped – have registered an interest, yet Chelsea are expected to make the first move.
Blues boss Thomas Tuchel is said to be a huge admirer of Dest, who can play on either side of defence and also further forward. His versatility and two-footedness would be welcome, especially given Chelsea stand to lose several key members of their backline this summer. Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen are all out of contract at the end of the current season, and are free to agree pre-contract agreements with foreign clubs this month.
Tuchel is resigned to losing at least two of those players, making it essential that long-term solutions are signed as quickly as possible. Dest, who has made 15 appearances for his national side, is seen as a good option, but Chelsea may need to act fast.
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Ed McCambridge is a staff writer at FourFourTwo, working for the magazine and website. Ed has been living in Berlin since 2015 and worked as a Bundesliga reporter before joining FFT. Formerly a season ticket holder at AFC Wimbledon, he's now most commonly spotted at local side Union Berlin.
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