The two players have been linked with moves away from Barcelona this summer. This is not the first time both of them have been linked with a move to Manchester City.
Roberto tempted to leave Barcelona for Manchester City?
It is being suggested that Roberto's head has been turned by Manchester City's interest. The Spaniard, who can also play as a central midfielder, is a product of Barcelona's famous La Masia academy. The 28-year old was given his Barcelona debut by Guardiola and has gone on to become an important squad player for the Catalan club.
Having been at Barcelona his entire career, Roberto has amassed 275 appearances in all competitions for the club. He has managed to score 9 goals and provide 34 assists. Perhaps his most famous goal was the final goal against Paris Saint Germain in the Champions League, a game which Barcelona won 6-1 and overcame a four-goal deficit to qualify for the next round.
The Spanish international has made 30 appearances for the Blaugranas so far this season, predominantly as a right-back. He has scored 1 goal and provided 2 assists.
A deal for Nelson Semedo will be more complicated for Manchester City. The Portuguese right-back, who joined Barcelona from Benfica in 2017 for €30.5 million, has admirers in Juventus and Paris Saint Germain apart from Manchester City. Previously it was suggested that a swap deal could be in the offing, with City right-back Joao Cancelo going the other way. However, that no longer seems to be an option.
Semedo has made 115 appearances for Barcelona in all competitions so far. Having been used in rotation with Roberto at right-back, the 26-year old has scored 1 goal and provided 10 assists during his time with the club. This season he has made 32 appearances for the club, providing 3 assists.
Manchester City seem to be in the market for a right-back. Having sold Danilo last season, Cancelo and a declining Kyle Walker are Guardiola's options right now. Cancelo's limited game-time so far this season and persistent transfer rumours indicate that the Spanish manager is not a big fan of the Portuguese.
Barcelona, on the other hand, are trying to move some players on to finance a deal for their top target, Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez. They have already agreed a rumoured £72 million deal with Juventus for midfielder Arthur, a move which is likely to see Miralem Pjanic arrive at Barcelona. Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele look likely to leave the club as well.
Barcelona's continued pursuit of Martinez indicates that they are planning for life after Luis Suarez. However, if either Semedo or Roberto is sold, a right-back becomes a priority signing. With neither of them excelling at the right-back position when they have been given chances, an argument can be made that a starting quality right-back should be at the top of Barcelona's shopping list.
Published 24 Jun 2020, 18:11 IST