Jasper Cillessen faces ‘bittersweet’ Barcelona exit

Goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen is leaving Barcelona with a ‘bittersweet feeling’ over a lack of game-time, report Diario AS.

Cillessen, a Dutch international, has a contract at the Camp Nou running through until June 2021 and containing a €60m release clause, while it is believed he wants more first-team football.

On Friday, El Mundo Deportivo reported that Saturday’s Copa del Rey final – in which Valencia defeated Barcelona 2-1 – would be the goalkeeper’s last match for the Blaugrana.

However, AS now say that the shot-stopper’s exit will be clouded by the fact that he played just 32 games in three seasons at the Camp Nou – of which 24 were in the Copa, with just five in La Liga and three in the Champions League.

The 29-year-old joined Barca from Ajax in 2016 but has struggled to dislodge Marc-Andre Ter Stegen from the number one spot and has made just five La Liga appearances across three seasons.

Last week, Diario Sport cited a report in the Daily Record that Manchester United have registered an interest in Cillessen, who is valued at €25m by the Blaugrana.

Other reports cited leading Portuguese media outlets Record and A Bola said that Benfica were close to a deal for the goalkeeper but are only willing to offer €15m.

It is said that the Eagles also tried to sign the Dutchman two summers ago but were deterred by his high salary.

However, it now appears that instead it will be the transfer fee which will prove the sticking point on a deal, although it is not indicated what Benfica are willing to pay.

It has been suggested that as part of the deal, Barca may have priority in interest for emerging stars at the Portuguese league leaders.

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