Manchester City Enquire Over Availability of Utility Barcelona Star Sergi Roberto

Sergi Roberto
Sergi Roberto | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Manchester City have enquired about the availability of Barcelona's Sergi Roberto, with the Catalan giants open to letting him depart in order to raise funds.

Roberto has proven to be a key player for Barça over the years, with his versatility and understanding of the game allowing him to play either in defence or in midfield. The 28-year-old has predominantly been used as a right back this season, rotating with Nelson Semedo.

Sergi Roberto
Sergi Roberto | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Mundo Deportivo report that Roberto is a player that has received a large number of offers during his time with the club, but the Catalan giants have not previously been interested in allowing him to leave Camp Nou.

However, the report claims that City's enquiry about Roberto has led to a rethink and Barça are open to sanctioning a sale. They have, however, a condition for agreeing a deal - Roberto will not be used as part of a player-plus-cash move, instead Barcelona are looking for a cash only offer.

Of course, Barça, like every club, have been feeling the impact financially of the coronavirus pandemic - the club's president has recently asked the players to take a second pay cut as they attempt to mitigate the financial strain placed on the Catalans.

City boss Pep Guardiola is an admirer of Sergi Roberto and Nelson Semedo.
City boss Pep Guardiola is an admirer of Sergi Roberto and Nelson Semedo. | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

It is said that City's interest in Roberto is 'on record', with Pep Guardiola having worked with him in the past. The former Bayern boss has approved making a move, and director of football Txiki Begiristain will now look to begin 'official negotiations' with Barça, knowing that cash is the only thing that will encourage a sale.

Guardiola's desire to recruit defensive reinforcements is well known, and talk of a move for Roberto comes at a time when the club are also showing in Semedo. It is said that the Portuguese right-back has given the green light to a Man City move and talks are due to be held in the coming days to conclude the deal.

Once again, La Blaugrana are looking to maximise profits and will be holding out for an offer of around €40m. A swap deal involving Joao Cancelo has been discussed, but Barcelona aren't interested.

Nelson Semedo
Nelson Semedo | Alex Caparros/Getty Images

As a result, City's interest in Roberto does come as a surprise to a certain extent, but there is no denying the quality he would bring to the City dressing room.

One thing's for sure, though; Barça are unlikely to sell Roberto and Semedo, and City don't need both clogging up the Etihad wage bill.