Atletico Madrid are reportedly keeping an eye on versatile Barcelona star Sergi Roberto, who will become a free agent at the end of the season.
According to Goal Spain, Barcelona defender Sergi Roberto has emerged as a potential transfer target for La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid ahead of the summer window.
Roberto came through the youth ranks at La Masia and made his first-team debut over a decade ago under Pep Guardiola. The 30-year-old has never been an undisputed starter, but he has been a valuable player for the Catalans over the years due to his versatility and work rate.
Having started as a central midfielder, the Spaniard has been converted into a right-back in recent years. But he has struggled for game-time over the past eighteen months, while fitness issues have also hampered the La Masia graduate. Roberto’s contract with Barcelona expires at the end of the season, and an extension is yet to be offered.
With uncertainty looming over his future at Camp Nou beyond the ongoing season, Atletico Madrid are now keeping tabs on his situation with a view to signing him on a Bosman deal in the summer transfer window.
Atletico Madrid are in the market for a new right-back after losing Kieran Trippier during the January transfer window. While Diego Simeone’s side did sign Daniel Wass from Valencia in the winter, they remain on the lookout for a more established option to bolster the right side of their defence.
The reigning La Liga champions have been linked to Aston Villa full-back Matty Cash, and are also believed to be in talks to sign Tottenham Hotspur defender Emerson Royal. At the same time, they are also keeping an eye on Roberto’s situation at Barcelona.
Despite his recent injury issues, the 30-year-old represents a valuable signing due to his experience and versatility. He has made over 300 appearances for the Blaugrana and has been part of several title-winning squads over the years. He can fill in at right-back and in central midfield, which could come in handy if Atletico Madrid lose Marcos Llorente amid interest from Liverpool.
However, the report from Goal Spain clarifies that the Rojiblancos are looking at Roberto as just a market opportunity and have not made him a priority target. It remains to be seen if that changes in the coming months.