Barcelona are close to sealing a deal for USMNT starlet Sergino Dest who has been given permission to fly to Spain to discuss personal terms and complete his transfer.
According to Mike Verweij at De Telegraaf, the Catalan giants will pay €20 ($23m) plus bonuses for the 19-year-old defender. Barcelona have beaten Bayern Munich to his signature, and the youngster is expected to fly out on Monday.
Dest said goodbye to his Ajax team-mates on Saturday night after the team’s Eredivisie win over Vitesse. The American came off the bench in the game at the Amsterdam Arena which is likely to have been his last for the club, according to RAC1’s Gerard Romero.
The right-back is now expected to come in and replace Portugal international Nelson Semedo at the Camp Nou. Semedo departed for Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday.
Dest will sign a contract at the Camp Nou that runs until June 2025, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.
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Dest Will Become Koeman’s First Signing
Dest looks set to become new manager Ronald Koeman’s first signing since replacing Quique Setien at the helm. The Dutch coach spoke in his pre-match press conference on Saturday about the need to improve his defense.
“It is normal that we have to improve things in defense, we are going to change the system, we are going to press higher, it is a quite radical change and that costs. We need time.”
The versatile Sergi Roberto will start at right-back for Barcelona in Sunday’s La Liga opener against Villarreal but should then face competition for his place from Dest. Roberto’s preferred position is in midfield, but he has tended to play more regularly in the back four in recent seasons.
More to Follow?
Dest may not be the only player to arrive at Barcelona before the transfer window closes on October 5. The club are also preparing a new bid for Manchester City defender Eric Garcia, according to Romano.
Barcelona may also attempt to bring in a replacement for Luis Suarez but could find it difficult given their financial issues. Koeman was also asked about strikers in his press conference but gave little away.
“Nothing is ruled out. But as I have said, I am focused on the players who are here. Barca always has to be prepared to strengthen [the squad].”
Memphis Depay and Lautaro Martinez have both been heavily linked with moves to the Camp Nou but will certainly not come cheap. Barca also already have a wealth of attacking options with Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, Ansu Fati, and Martin Braithwaite in the squad.