Spanish journalist Jose Luis Carazo has claimed that Chelsea are willing to pay the €40m release clause of Barcelona midfielder Sergio Roberto.
The player’s agent, Josep María Orobitg, has reportedly not denied interest from the Blues and the decision is likely to be left in the hands of Roberto.
The 25-year-old played the majority of last season as a right-back, following the sale of Dani Alves to Juventus and the long-term injury of Aleix Vidal.
El Chelsea está dispuesto a fichar a Sergi Roberto e incluso a pagar su cláusula de rescisión que asciende a 40 millones.
— José Luis Carazo (@joseluiscarazo) July 24, 2017
Reports claimed earlier this month that Barcelona had turned down a €35m offer for Roberto amid their attempts to sign Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin.
New coach Ernesto Valverde is believed to consider the Spain international a valuable member of his first team squad for the upcoming season, but the club may be left with no option to sell if Roberto opts to leave.
Valverde is likely to favour playing Roberto in midfield, a position the player recently admitted he prefers.
“I would really like to play in midfield, it’s where I feel most comfortable, but I want to continue having the most opportunities to play,” he told Marca.
“When we start pre-season we will talk and [Valverde] will tell me what he intends to do with me, if I will continue as a full-back or in a position in the middle of the field.”
There have been no previous suggestions that Roberto is considering leaving Barcelona. Turning his attention to next season, he has expressed his optimism about the Blaugrana’s prospects of success.
“With the players we have, we can do very good things,” he added. “Barcelona wants to have the best players so this season I’m sure we will have a great time. I’m really looking forward to it.”