Barcelona Eye Up Ajax Starlet Sergiño Dest as Potential Replacement for Nelson Semedo

Nischal Schwager-Patel
AFC Ajax's Sergiño Dest.
AFC Ajax's Sergiño Dest. / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images
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Barcelona have identified Ajax defender Sergiño Dest as a transfer target, as they line up possible replacements for Nelson Semedo.

The 19-year-old has caught the eye of the Spanish champions, who have him billed as a potential signing in the next transfer window. Although Dest has only been in the Ajax first team since September, he could be leaving the Johan Cruyff Arena this summer.

Ajax's Sergiño Dest.
Ajax's Sergiño Dest. / Soccrates Images/Getty Images

According to Catalan state outlet CCMA, Barcelona have listed Dest as one of their options to replace Semedo, who is looking likely to depart the Camp Nou. The Blaugrana have denied that a deal between the two clubs is complete, in spite of Dutch reports over a completed agreement.

They add that Ajax do not want a swap deal for Dest, and will only accept a transfer fee from potential suitors.

Barcelona aren’t the only ones interested in signing Dest, with German champions Bayern Munich also in the race for the American international. However, the young right-back has previously come out and said that his dream is to play for Barcelona, which could be a deciding factor in the transfer saga.

Sergiño Dest in UEFA Europa League action.
Sergiño Dest in UEFA Europa League action. / Soccrates Images/Getty Images

The move is being discussed as a replacement for Barcelona full-back Semedo, whose Barça contract runs until 2022. The Portuguese defender is yet to renew his deal and is open to a move away, with Manchester City among those interested in signing him.

Semedo has been at Barcelona since 2017, joining from Portuguese giants Benfica. He has made 29 appearances this season in all competitions, though faces stern competition from Sergi Roberto at right-back.

If Semedo does leave Camp Nou this summer, Dest would be a fantastic replacement for the La Liga leaders. The 19-year-old made 35 appearances for Ajax this season, registering two goals and six assists in a solid debut campaign for the senior side.

FC Barcelona's Nelson Semedo.
FC Barcelona's Nelson Semedo. / Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Dest joined the Ajax youth setup in 2012, working his way up the ranks into the first team. His impressive performances earned him a call-up to the United States national team – who he chose to represent over the Netherlands – earning three caps for the Stars and Stripes.

Ajax ended the season in unlucky fashion, being denied the Eredivisie title after the season was voided and being knocked out of both the Champions League and Europa League.


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