Chelsea dealt blow in race for £36m La Liga star

August 22, 2017

Spain international Sergi Roberto intends to remain at Barcelona despite appearing as a target for Premier League rivals Manchester United and Chelsea.

Roberto performed a leading role for the La Liga giants last year, however, was believed to be weighing his future at Camp Nou after Paulinho’s arrival from Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande.

The 25-year-old has a £36million buy-out clause inserted into his current deal, and Man United and Chelsea have been plotting moves to bring him to England.

But, Roberto says he is ‘happy’ at Barcelona and wants to become an even more important footballer for head coach Ernesto Valverde this campaign.

Talking after the 2-0 La Liga triumph over Real Betis on Sunday, Roberto who netted the second goal said: “I’m happy, [against Real Madrid in the Super Cup] I was happy on a personal level, and I felt comfortable today, too. I played in my favoured midfield position. I started at the Bernabeu, and the coach has given me confidence. I’ve scored today, and I want to be important.

“In pre-season, I wasn’t starting, but now in the official matches, I am playing more. I want to continue here and continue like this.”

The manager has also reiterated his position that Roberto remains an influential part of his dressing room, suggesting: “I am counting on him. In some games, he will be a major player and in some games no, but he remains an important player.”