A year ago Sergino Dest was a teenage newcomer just starting to break through with Ajax’s first team. A year later the U.S. Men’s National Team fullback has become the subject of a transfer tug of war between two of the biggest teams in the world.
Bayern Munich and Barcelona are reportedly locked in a battle for the services of the 19-year-old Dutch-born defender, who could wind up fetching a transfer fee in the range of $25 million. which would be the second-highest fee ever paid for a USMNT player (second only to Christian Pulisic’s $73 million move to Chelsea).
Bayern has been identified as the frontrunner, with the sale of Spanish midfielder Thiago to Liverpool helping provide the funding for a major offer for the 19-year-old fullback.
Barcelona was leading the race for Dest at one point, but the Spanish club had been waiting to unload right back Nelsen Semedo in order to help fund that transfer, among others. With Semedo reportedly closing in on a 40 million Euro move to Premier League side Wolves, Barcelona would have the financial resources to battle Bayern for Dest’s services.
Dest would be a good fit for both European giants. At Bayern, Dest would help provide depth at right back, where the Champions League winners currently boast Benjamin Pavard and used Joshua Kimmish at the position, but with Thiago’s departure Bayern will need Kimmich to stick in a central midfield role.
At Barcelona, Dest would be competing for a starting role at a position where there is no established starter at the Camp Nou. Midfielder Sergi Roberto played 13 La Liga matches at right back last season and is the only option on the Barcelona roster with Semedo’s looming departure.
Dest’s versatility makes him even more appealing. He has played as a left back for both Ajax and the USMNT, and can provide depth at the position for both Barcelona and Bayern.
If Dest winds up at Barcelona, he would join forces with new Barcelona manger Ronald Koeman, who unsuccessfully tried to convince Dest to play for the Netherlands when Koeman was Dutch national team manager. Dest chose to play for the United States in November of 2019. Dest would also be joined at Barcelona by former U.S. Under-20 World Cup teammate Konrad De La Fuente.
If Dest goes to Bayern, he would be teammates with Canadian standout Alphonso Davies, a fellow Concacaf teenager, and a player Dest got the better off when the USMNT defeated Canada in Nations League last November. Dest would also be reunited with U.S. Under-20 World Cup teammate Chris Richards.