BARCELONA

Barcelona target Sergiño Dest close to signing for Bayern Munich

According to AD, Bayern have made advances in negotiations with Ajax. Dest was Barcelona's number one candidate to replace Nelson Semedo.

Sergiño Dest, en un partido con el Ajax.
KENZO TRIBOUILLARD AFP

Bayern Munich and Ajax are close to concluding negotiations for Sergiño Dest, according to reports by Dutch outlet AD. The German club had made an initial bid for the right-back but were rebuffed. This time however, they have made a new approach for the player and are close to reaching an agreement. It is a blow for Barcelona who had Dest lined up to replace Nelson Semedo.

Emerson and Max Aarons in reserve

Nothing official has been announced but it's widely accepted that Semedo will be leaving Barça - for a fee which will help boost the club's financial situation. Until that operation is confirmed, Barcelona's Technical Secretary has been working hard to ensure that the right-back position will be filled. Emerson is the most accessible option and Norwich's Max Aarons is an alternative if Barça's initial plans have to change. If negotiations between Bayern and Ajax continue to progress, then Barcelona will have to look at other options.

Ramón Planes and Bartomeu were both aware that bringing Sergiño Dest to Camp Nou would be a costly operation and only viable once Semedo is sold. Their intention was a loan deal with the obligation to buy the player next summer. But in the meantime, Bayern continue working to fine-tune an almost perfect team and they have spending power after selling Thiago to Liverpool. Perhaps it was Thiago's transfer that gave Bayern the extra impulse to go all out for Dest.

For Barça, that means they must make a concerted effort to ensure that they don't miss out on one of their principal targets. The operation to sign Depay foundered due to problems with the budget, Wijnaldum has decided to stay at Liverpool, and possibly renew with the Reds... As things stand, it looks like Koeman's project will kick off their campaign with just the three recent arrivals - Pjanic, Trincão and Pedri. Meanwhile, the club is weighing up the options with the players who are left in the market. Perhaps with Dest it is now too late.