Sergi Roberto is out of contract at the end of the season at Barcelona but is set to put pen to paper on a contract extension with the Catalan giants that will keep him at the Camp Nou until June 2023.
The versatile 30-year-old has “finally decided” to accept the club’s latest proposal which includes a “notable” pay cut and only extends his stay at the club for another 12 months, as reported by Diario Sport’s Jordi Gil.
Roberto did receive other offers but his “priority” was always to continue at the Camp Nou. Coach Xavi also wanted him to stay and has “conveyed his total confidence” in the La Masia graduate.
The new contract is said to be “not ideal” for Roberto but the veteran “wants to enjoy his football” over everything else and believes that is something he can achieve now that Xavi is at the helm.
Roberto has not played since October 2021 after undergoing surgery on a thigh injury and has only made four league starts this season. However, the utility man has been back in full training and could be even be called up for Barca’s next game against Real Mallorca on Sunday, May 1.
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Roberto Ready To Make Timely Return?
Barcelona could well be relieved to see Roberto back in action. The 30-year-old can play in defense or in midfield but has been most regularly used at right-back in recent seasons.
The full-back slot is a problem position currently for Barcelona. The Catalans have confirmed that Sergino Dest has been sidelined with a hamstring injury that could see him miss the rest of the 2021-22 season.
“Tests carried out on the first team player Sergiño Dest have confirmed that the player has injured the semitendinosus muscle in his right hamstring,” read a club statement. “The player is unavailable for selection and his recovery will dictate his return.”
Dest is expected to be out for around 4-6 weeks which means he is expected to miss Barcelona’s last five matches of the campaign, as reported by journalist Gerard Romero.
Dani Alves is also an injury concern for Barca. The Brazilian did not feature at all in Barcelona’s 1-0 defeat to Rayo Vallecano last time out after picking up an ankle injury against Real Sociedad.
Barcelona ‘Have Five Finals Left’ – Xavi
Xavi is hoping his team can finish the season strongly after defeat to Rayo made it three straight losses at the Camp Nou for Barcelona in a single season for the first time in the club’s history.
The coach spoke after the match about his desire to see his team improve in their final five La Liga games of the campaign, as shown by Barcelona TV.
“I think we didn’t play well, especially in the first half, the second half we played a little bit better,” he said. “We have to continue, to keep going, this is a hard way, it’s a long way, five finals for us and we need to at least qualify for the Champions League next season.”
Barcelona return to action on Sunday, May 1 when Real Mallorca are the visitors to the Camp Nou. The Catalans won the reverse fixture 1-0 back in January.