Manchester United ready to sign Barcelona’s Sergi Roberto – report

by Leo Nieboer

Manchester United are prepared to activate Sergi Roberto’s £36m release clause to lure him away from Barcelona this summer, according to reports in Spain.

The Spaniard, who came through Barcelona’s youth ranks after arriving as a 14 year old in 2006, enjoyed a sensational campaign under Luis Enrique last season.

Ernesto Valverde’s arrival, however, along with Neymar’s departure and the likes of Coutinho and Paulinho being lined up, has led to uncertainty surrounding his future at the Nou Camp.

And according to Spanish outlet Don Balon, Jose Mourinho will take advantage of the 25-year-old’s murky predicament by activating his release clause.

Mourinho has placed emphasis on building a physically imposing line-up for next season, but some balance is always needed: a mixture of powerful, specialist players geared towards a particular purpose and then, on the other hand, players like Roberto – the ultimate factotum.

Indeed, there aren’t many better utility players in Europe at the moment than Roberto, capable of fearing as a tenacious, disciplined full-back, a delicate, forward thinking midfielder and as a winger adept at holding on to the ball and shifting play forward.

He grow up in an academy emphasising a universal kind of versatility whereupon there is no place on the pitch, no position, that isn’t natural, and he would be a perfect accompaniment to Mourinho’s steelier assets next season.

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