PEP GUARDIOLA is ready to shore up his Manchester City defence with Barcelona’s versatile Sergi Roberto, according to reports.
Roberto, 25, can operate either as a defensive midfielder or as a deep lying central midfielder, full-back or even winger.
The 25-year-old made 32 LaLiga appearances last term and his form attracted the attention of both Premier League clubs, who spent much of the summer trying to sign defenders.
Barca managed to hold on to Roberto and he has gone on to make five further league appearances for the club but there is still plenty of speculation about his next move.
Now Spanish newspaper Don Balon has claimed that City are finally willing to activate Roberto’s £35m release clause and could do it when the window opens in January.
It has been suggested that the player wants to stay at Barca but believes he deserves a far more lucrative salary although no formal contract talks have taken place as of yet.
City, meanwhile, could be willing to pay him the sort of salary he is after and that might be enough to tempt him to the Etihad.
Don Balon also say Roberto actually wants to sign a contract extension with Barcelona.
And that he has requested a salary similar to that of Gerard Pique’s.
Barcelona have yet to begin new contract talks with Roberto’s agent.
Roberto has three full Spanish caps, having appeared for his country at every level from Under-17s upwards.