Sergiño Dest has touched down in Barcelona.
The U.S. men’s national team defender arrived Tuesday night ahead of an expected transfer from Ajax, which reports say will become official on Wednesday when all of the paperwork is signed. The fee is reported to be in the $25 million range.
Dest was greeted by reporters, peppered with questions like “Are you the new Dani Alves?” in reference to the Brazilian and former Barcelona right back great. Filling those shoes is a tall order, but there is opportunity to be had at Barcelona following the sale of right back Nelson Semedo to Wolverhampton. Sergi Roberto started at right back in the club’s season-opening win over Villarreal on Sunday.
Dest had been courted by both Barcelona and reigning European and German champion Bayern Munich, two options that most players dream of having in their careers. Dest, at 19, encountered the choice quite early in his. U.S. manager Gregg Berhalter seemed pretty content regardless of which superclub Dest chose.
“I’ve been talking to Sergiño a lot in the last couple days,” Berhalter told Sirius XM radio last Thursday. “He has two great opportunities in front of him. I don’t think you can go wrong with either option.
“He’s in a great frame of mind … he hasn’t let it affect his performance, he hasn’t let it affect his mindset. He just keeps working hard and showing a lot of maturity for a young player, for sure.”
Dest has appeared off the bench in all of Ajax’s three Eredivisie matches so far this season, with speculation of his exit rampant throughout the transfer window.
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