Chelsea and Manchester United will not fight it out for Sergi Roberto after Barcelona admitted that he was still an important plan of their first-team plans.

By 90Min
August 17, 2017

Chelsea and Manchester United will not fight it out for Sergi Roberto after Barcelona admitted that he was still an important plan of their first-team plans.

The Premier League giants were both interested in prising the versatile midfielder away from Catalunya, but have been dealt a significant blow in their chase for Roberto's signature.

The Daily Mail carried quotes from Barca boss Ernesto Valverde in the wake of his side's 2-0 Spanish Super Cup second leg defeat to Real Madrid on Wednesday, and the Basque manager stated why the 25-year-old would not be departing the Nou Camp for England.

He explained: "Of course, I am absolutely counting on him. In some games he will be a major player and in some games no, but he remains an important player."

Roberto is reportedly upset at La Blaugrana opting to part with £36.5m to bring former Tottenham Hotspur flop Paulinho to the club - a signing that will only lead to increased competition for places in the centre of the park.

The Catalonia international is alleged to have a £36m release clause fee in his Barcelona contract, and neither Chelsea or United would have a problem is stumping up that some of money to activate that part of his deal.

Roberto is contracted to the Copa del Rey holders until June 2019 and, whilst Barcelona are keen to offer him a fresh deal, the graduate of the club's famed La Masis youth academy is hesitant to pen a new contract unless he is given assurances over regular playing time.

The Reus-born footballer could see that chance of minutes on the pitch hampered even further if Barcelona manage to land Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool.

The summer acquisition of Nelson Semedo will also likely prevent Roberto from playing as an auxiliary right-back - the role he performed last term - and any further midfield signings could likely see him ask to leave the club if he does not feature often enough.

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