Barcelona completed a move for teenage right-back Sergino Dest for €26 million from Ajax last week. In his five-year contract with the Spanish giants, the player has a staggering release clause of €400 million.
Dest had also attracted interest from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich who humiliated Barcelona 8-2 in the quarter-finals of last year's Champions League. However, the American defender said that he chose Barcelona because it was his dream to play for the club and with Lionel Messi.
"Bayern are a great club, and there was interest from them, but I followed what my heart told me to, and for that, I signed for Barca. I think it was the right decision. They are a club with so much history, and I've always wanted to play here."
"It'll be amazing to play with the best player in the world, Lionel Messi. I looked up to him. I will run as much as I have to, I will run for everybody in the team. It will be so exciting to meet the best player in the world."
Sergino Dest wants to model his game on former Barcelona right-back Dani Alves
New Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman is slowly but surely stamping his mark at the Camp Nou. Dest became the first player to sign for the Blaugrana under the legendary defender, with Miralem Pjanic, Francisco Trincao and Pedri also joining the club earlier this season.
Koeman, who resigned as the manager of the Netherlands national team to take over at his former club, has also expressed his interest in Dutch players Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum.
Dest, who elected to represent the US national team, has a Dutch mother and credited Koeman for the former's move to the Camp Nou.
"Koeman, of course, was an influence, because he's Dutch, and it will be easier to communicate with him."
The 19-year-old right-back is also a huge fan of ex-Barcelona player Dani Alves and wants to model his game on the legendary Brazilian right-back.
"My role model was Dani Alves, a really good player at right-back, same position. Watching his clips on YouTube, I learned a lot from him, and I can still learn a lot from him because his teammates are over here like Lionel Messi, and I can ask for advice. I want to be a player like him."Published 03 Oct 2020, 15:34 IST