Sergi Roberto confirms he's 'on track' for new Barcelona contract
BARCELONA — Sergi Roberto expects to reach an agreement with Barcelona over a new deal with his current terms due to expire in 2019.
Roberto, 25, has drawn interest from Premier League clubs, with sources confirming to ESPN FC in the summer that Chelsea were following the midfielder. Manchester United were also linked, but sources said at the time Barca did not fear losing the academy graduate.
However, with the €40 million buyout clause in the contract Roberto signed in 2014 looking increasingly paltry in the modern market, the Catalan club have acknowledged the need to tie him down to a new deal.
“My contract renewal is on track,” Roberto told a news conference on Monday before Barca’s Champions League game against Sporting Lisbon.
“I’ve been a Barcelona fan since I was little. There are always talks to be had, but I’m sure we’ll come to an agreement.”
Negotiations have ongoing between the player’s agent, Josep Maria Orobitg, and the club since the summer, but Diario Sport reported there is still no agreement over how much the player should be paid.
The newspaper says both parties are happy with a deal until 2022 and an increased buyout clause of €400 million, but that Orobitg is pushing for a bigger salary to reflect his client’s progress at the club.
Roberto has been in the first team at Camp Nou since 2013, making over 170 appearances, but his importance has increased dramatically in the last two years.
Playing as both a right-back and a midfielder, he’s been a key player for both Luis Enrique and Ernesto Valverde, and carved his name in the club’s history with the final goal in March’s famous 6-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain.
On which position he would prefer to play, he added: “When I go out on to the pitch I always try to give my very best.
“Since I was young I have always played as a midfielder, but I want to help the team, whether that’s as a full-back or in the middle of the pitch.”
Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.