Sergino Dest transfer: USMNT defender set to move to Serie A champions AC Milan from Barcelona

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After being omitted from the Barcelona squad in all of their matches to begin the season, Sergino Dest looks to be on the verge of a move to Serie A. AC Milan are close to reaching a deal for a one-year loan with an option to buy, according to Fabrizio Romano. If the option is triggered, Dest would sign a four-year deal with the club. The buy option is around €20 million and is not mandatory.

It has been a busy day for AC Milan as the takeover of the club was completed that included American-based RedBird Capital and the New York Yankees. RedBird also has a stake in Fenway Sports Group which owns the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool. The deal was agreed to over the summer but finally completed Tuesday.

That was plenty of time for AC Milan to chase a splash signing that is a win-win for the club and player. While Dest was content to stay at Barcelona and fight for his place, with an opportunity appearing to get regular playing time in Serie A, it is one worth taking ahead of the World Cup in November to be in the best of form. 

Dest would now square off with Weston McKennie and Juventus as current starting right back Alessandro Florenzi will miss at least eight weeks due to a muscular injury suffered in the team’s draw versus Sassuolo on Tuesday. A strong ball carrier, Dest fits in with AC Milan’s high-octane attack, but he’ll need to be more disciplined defensively in Serie A. If he’s able to improve his one-on-one defending, there’s no reason why Dest can’t become the long-term starter over Florenzi at only 21 years old.

Covered by Simon Kjaer, Dest will have a strong defensive presence next to him as the team has cover to let him dribble and overlap with Alexis Saelemaekers. It’s an exciting move for Dest to show what he does well after falling out of favor under Xavi at Barcelona.

For the USMNT, Dest playing anywhere would have been optimal but this is a better move for his playing style than a move to Manchester United, who were also linked to the American. Dest will get to move to the reigning Scudetto winners while also playing in the Champions League this season. Due to loan obligations, he likely won’t get to face Barcelona if they meet in the knockout stages.

Since Barcelona’s directors had to offer a financial guarantee that the team would become compliant with La Liga’s salary cap to register Jules Kounde, moving Dest’s salary off the books will help their current financial situation. 

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