Barcelona manager Xavi has hinted that Sergino Dest’s future could lie elsewhere amid reports linking the United States international with a move to Manchester United.
With Aaron Wan-Bissaka out of favor and Diogo Dalot struggling during a torrid start to the Premier League season for United, Erik ten Hag’s side have been tipped as potential suitors for the right-back.
Dest, who played 21 games as Barca finished second in LaLiga last season, was left out of the Barcelona squad for an opening-day draw with Rayo Vallecano last week.
Xavi moved natural centre-back Ronald Araujo to the right for that game, and Barcelona were heavily linked with a move for César Azpilicueta before he signed a new two-year contract with Chelsea.
Speaking before Sunday’s trip to Real Sociedad, Xavi assured that Barça is well equipped in the forward position, and insisted: “We had a very clear plan. We wanted to sign Azpilicueta, but it was not possible, and now this is the situation..
“There are people in the squad to cover that position. We have Araujo, who was good the other day, Sergi Roberto and even [Jules] Stuck”.
Asked specifically by Dest, Xavi simply added: “He knows what the situation is.”
Frenkie de Jong was another Barcelona player linked with a move to Old Trafford, although United’s imminent capture of Real Madrid enforcer Casemiro could spell the end of their long pursuit of the dutch international
And Xavi, who labeled De Jong an “important player” earlier this month, has backed the stylish midfielder to shine should he remain at Camp Nou.
Comparing De Jong’s style of play to his own, Xavi said: “I see him facing the game. It happens to him as it does to me. I, with my back to the game, was not comfortable.
“In the face of the game, he is a spectacular footballer. He divides, he has strength and physical power, arrival, passes… He can adapt to different positions.
“I see him more on the inside [of the midfield], but it can also be a pivot. I can’t imagine him playing alongside.”
Barca are looking to maintain their strong record in San Sebastian when they take on La Real in their first away game of the new season on Sunday, having gone unbeaten in their last six trips to Anoeta in La Liga.