After months of uncertainty, it appears Barcelona are set to go through with their plans to renew Sergi Roberto.
According to Mundo Deportivo, the midfielder could very well become a one-club man by penning a contract extension by next week. His terms will likely be low, as the board does not rate him highly due to his injuries and lack of game-time in the past.
Roberto was even on the verge of leaving Camp Nou at the end of the season. But it appears Xavi has played a key role behind Barcelona’s U-turn, with the head coach rating the midfielder highly due to his versatility.
The report suggests Xavi has identified three possible roles for Sergi Roberto ahead of the new season.
The Barcelona coach primarily wants Roberto to serve as a deputy for Sergio Busquets. He will be expected to step up, should the veteran require a rest throughout the course of next season.
Another potential role for Roberto is the interior midfield position. Since the Spaniard can operate as the advanced midfielder, he can be seen as a backup for the likes of Gavi, Pedri and Frenkie de Jong, if the Dutchman remains at Camp Nou this summer.
Roberto’s biggest role, though, is competing for the right-back position. The academy graduate has mainly appeared as a right-back at Barcelona in the past and he is more than capable of operating in the position.
With both Dani Alves and Sergino Dest facing an uncertain future at the club, Roberto could indeed become a vital cog in the right-back unit, even if Barcelona end up signing Cesar Azpilicueta this summer.