Sergi Roberto linked with Sevilla transfer

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Barcelona midfielder Sergi Roberto is being linked with a surprise move to Sevilla after the La Liga club identified the Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur target as a possible replacement for Ivan Rakitic.

TalkSPORT reports how the 22-year-old is wanted by Unai Emery because he believes that the youngster can help fill the creative midfield void left by the Croatia international when he swapped the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium for Camp Nou in a £16.2 million deal this summer.

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The Europa League winners secured the services of playmaker Denis Suarez on a two-year loan agreement as part of the Rakitic deal, but Sevilla now want to return to Barcelona for Roberto.

Manchester United interest

Manchester United were previously credited with an interest in bringing the player to Old Trafford, but that was prior to the appointment of new Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal.

However, the Premier League giants are still on the lookout for midfield reinforcements this summer, and might renew plans to lure the La Masia graduate to England before the transfer window closes.

Tottenham interest

Spurs have also been mooted as admirers of a player that started just one La Liga game for Barcelona last season, but it's unclear whether Mauricio Pochettino will press ahead with an attempt to lure Roberto to White Hart Lane.

Under the new tutelage of Luis Enrique - who knows Roberto well from his time coaching in Barcelona's academy - the midfielder is likely to have more chance of featuring in the first-team in 2014/15, but might have already had his head turned by the offer of regular action in Seville.

Barcelona future?

Having entered the final 12 months of his contract at Barcelona, senior officials at the club are keen to negotiate a new deal. However, because they have failed to do so until now, they are left in a precarious position when it comes to negotiations, with Roberto available to leave Camp Nou for a cut-price fee.

Barcelona's only chance of driving up Roberto's asking price would be playing Manchester United, Tottenham and Sevilla off against each other to test how serious each suitor is about acquiring his services before ultimately selling off to the highest bidder.

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