Dest: how Milan’s Champions League squad decision could affect Barcelona transfers

epa10218684 Milan's defender Sergino Dest (L) and Milan's coach Stefano Pioli (R) celebrate their win after the Italian Serie A soccer match between Empoli FC and AC Milan at Carlo Castellani stadium in Empoli, Italy, 01 October 2022. EPA-EFE/Claudio Giovannini

Sergiño Dest has been dropped from Milan‘s Champions League squad, which is further proof the Rossoneri are unlikely to make his move permanent from Barcelona in the summer, notes Lorenzo Bettoni.

The USMNT international joined the Rossoneri on loan with a €20m option to buy last summer but has been struggling with playing time this term.

Stefano Pioli cut him from the Rossoneri’s Champions League squad for the knock-out phase, replacing him with Malick Thiaw.

This suggests the Rossoneri are unlikely to complete his signing at the end of the season, especially for €20m.

He was drafted in to replace the long-term injured Alessandro Florenzi, but his performances have been far from convincing. The 22-year-old has made 14 appearances with the defending Serie A champions this season but only six as a starter. He hasn’t scored or provided assists so far at San Siro.

Milan will likely be dealing with a tight transfer budget in the summer with circa €50m available for new signings and it’s hard to believe they will invest almost half to sign a player who won’t be involved in Champions League matches in the second part of the campaign.

As things stand, it’s probable that the only way Milan can make his move permanent is by negotiating a lower transfer fee with Barcelona. Dest’s contract at Camp Nou expires in June 2025.

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