Manchester United have made an opening bid of €40m for Barcelona midfielder Sergi Roberto, according to Spanish media outlet Mundo Deportivo.
The 25-year-old, who developed his game at the club’s famous La Masia academy, enjoyed a superb season under Luis Enrique, primarily filling in at right back but also producing competent displays in both midfield and out wide. He was instrumental in creating Barcelona’s injury time winner against Real Madrid and scored the decisive goal during that famous 6-1 win over Paris Saint Germain in the Champions League.
His future under new boss Ernesto Valverde, however, remains uncertain following the signing of Nelson Semedo – set to be Barcelona’s first choice right back next term – alongside the potential arrivals of both Paulinho and Coutinho.
The bid United have made matches Roberto’s reported £36m release clause but Jose Mourinho, as is becoming a common theme this summer, will face competition from Chelsea for the Spaniard’s signature.
Antonio Conte’s body language following his side’s Community Shield defeat to Arsenal on Sunday suggested he wasn’t happy with his squad depth and signing Roberto – a reliable factotum capable of playing in three different positions – would be an ideal antidote. But Mourinho, in Romelu Lukaku, has already beaten the champions to one big target this summer. Can he do it again?