Chelsea are considering a move for Barcelona right-back Sergino Dest according to the Daily Express and carried by Diario AS. The Premier League side will make an offer in the region of €30m for the USMNT international, in preparation for the departure of soon-to-be free agent Cesar Azpilicueta. Dest will serve as the backup to Reece James, a sensation so far this season.
Barcelona could be open to the deal as they continue to recalibrate their salary budget. It’s tough to move on players that have no role to play under Xavi – like Philippe Coutinho and Samuel Umtiti – due to their damaged reputations and bloated wages. Younger players like Dest, however, do have a market.
Dest joined Barcelona at Ronald Koeman’s request in the summer of 2020, but has failed to convince at Camp Nou. He’s had his moments, but Xavi’s decision to bring in 38-year-old Dani Alves this winter is perhaps a sign that he doesn’t completely trust him. Besides, Ronald Araujo is currently doing a fine job at right-back even though his preferred position is centre-half.
Barcelona are also thought to be interested in Ajax’s Moroccan right-back Noussair Mazraoui, and an exchange deal that could see Dest return to Amsterdam is also a possibility. It’s up to Barcelona to consider what they prefer – a decent transfer fee from Chelsea or a ready-made replacement from Ajax.