Barcelona midfielder and fourth club captain Sergi Roberto is reportedly on the radars of Villarreal and Real Betis as he nears the expiry of his contract.
According to a report from Spanish outlet Fichajes, Barcelona star Sergi Roberto has emerged as a summer transfer target for La Liga sides Villarreal and Real Betis, with his contract set to run out at the end of the season.
A product of Barcelona’s fabled La Masia academy, Roberto made his first-team debut for the Catalans way back in 2010, under then-manager Pep Guardiola. He has been in and around the senior team ever since but has never quite established himself as an undisputed starter at Camp Nou.
Having started as a central midfielder, Roberto morphed himself into a right-back in recent years and has been a handy utility man for the Blaugrana. To date, the 29-year-old has racked up 316 appearances for Barcelona, scoring 12 goals and setting up 37 more.
Following Lionel Messi’s departure this past summer, he was made the club’s fourth captain this season, behind Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba.
However, Roberto’s future at Camp Nou is far from certain as his contract with the club expires at the end of the ongoing campaign. Talks over a renewal had taken place, but the two parties have not reached an agreement. As a result, it looks very much likely that the Spanish international will be on his way out as a free agent in the summer.
There has already been interest from the likes of Atletico Madrid and Manchester City in Roberto’s services. Now, two more names have been added to the list of the 29-year-old’s admirers with Barcelona’s La Liga rivals, Villarreal and Real Betis, believed to be keen on signing him up on a Bosman transfer in 2022.
The report mentions that Real Betis have had Roberto on their radars for quite some time now. And even though his levels have dropped a bit of late, the 29-year-old remains a capable player with proven pedigree in La Liga, making him an enticing target for Manuel Pellegrini & co.
As for Villarreal, Roberto’s signing is believed to have been personally requested by manager Unai Emery as he is keen on adding more quality depth to his roster given as the team competes in European football.
Roberto’s versatility and experience would make him an asset to any club that he decides to join, and it remains to be seen where he ends up come summer. For now, it seems quite likely that the 11-time capped Spanish international will leave Barcelona at the end of the season.