FC Barcelona’s roster transformation could include the addition of a U.S. Men’s National Team option if manager Ronald Koeman has his way.
USMNT fullback Sergino Dest is on Barcelona’s radar and the Spanish giants could make a move for the Ajax defender if they succeed in selling out-of-favor fullback Nelson Semedo, Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo reported on Wednesday.
According to the report, Barcelona has reached a point where it will only make roster additions if it succeeds in selling players, and Dest is a target picked out by Koeman, but one Barcelona will only go after if it can sell Semedo. The report also suggests that Dest could join Barcelona on an initial loan deal.
Koeman is very familiar with Dest, having tried unsuccessfully to get Dest to play for the Dutch national team when Koeman was the team’s head coach. The Netherlands-born Dest ultimately chose to play for the United States, cap-tying himself to the USMNT with his appearance in Concacaf Nations League action last fall.
Dest has been linked to several top European clubs in the wake of his breakout season at Ajax, a season that also earned him a place on the shortlist for the Golden Boy Award, awarded by Italian media outlet Tuttosport for the best Under-21 player in Europe.
Dest has previously been linked to Bayern Munich and Juventus, though the transfer buzz surrounding his name had cooled in more recent weeks before the new Barcelona link. Dest has been linked to Barcelona before, but the new reports center around renewed interest driven by Koeman.
The Dest-Barcelona link comes just days after U.S. Under-23 National Team midfielder Konrad De La Fuente became the first American to feature for Barcelona’s first team in a recent friendly.
Dest and Ajax recently kicked off the start of the new Eredivisie season with a 1-0 win against Sparta Rotterdam on Sunday. Dest came on as a substitute to help Ajax win despite a first-half red card issued to Nicolas Tagliafico.