Sergino Dest is experiencing a difficult period in his football career, with the USMNT manager failing to convince Xavi that he’s the long-term answer at right-back for Barcelona. Now that the La Liga champions have returned from their US tour of the USA, they’ve set about trimming their squad which in turn will free up money for potential signings like Bernardo Silva.
Ousmane Dembele will officially sign for PSG and Franck Kessie will do the same with Al-Ahli and reports indicate Clement Lenglet won’t be far behind. But what of Dest?
The 22-year-old defender is the most likely player to follow that trio out the door and there has been talk recently that Barca would explore the option of terminating his contract if no suitors could be found for a transfer.
His agent denied rumours earlier this summer that Portuguese outfit Porto was interested in his client’s services.
A new report in The Athletic indicated that the Blaugrana are looking for €10 million for the USMNT player, but would also consider a loan if no permanent offers were to materialise. The report also confirmed that the contract termination talk is wide of the mark.
Dest was given the chance to impress on the US tour
Dest started the first game against Arsenal and came on as a substitute against Real Madrid and AC Milan. Unfortunately, he was one of the underperformers of the tour, struggling consistently against talented forwards Saka and Vini Jr.
Before the tour, he confirmed that Xavi had agreed to give him a shot:
"“I don’t want to give too much information about what we discussed, but at the end of the day (Xavi) told me: ‘OK, I’ll give you a fair chance to prove yourself.’ So that’s what it is at the moment,” Dest said in last month’s group interview.“He told me: ‘I think you have qualities but it’s up to you, you have to show me.’ And I fully agree.“I feel that with what happened last season with me, I have to have a fast start. I’m here to prove myself.”"
It’s likely that all the tour did was consolidate the managers feeling that a new right-back was needed at Barca. Since the team returned to Spain, there have been countless rumours linking them with Manchester City player Joao Cancelo and Valladolid youngster Ivan Fresneda.
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Dest started well at Barca and became the first American to play for the team in La Liga, he was also the first American to appear in El Clasico. Unfortunately, he fell out of favour and was loaned to AC Milan last year, a lack of game time convinced them to turn down the purchase option in the loan deal.
It’s very unlikely that Dest will remain with Barcelona, but there is no doubt he has talent and at 22 years old, he still has plenty of time.