That’s according to journalist Fabrizio Romano, who revealed that the Red Devils could swoop for the 21-year-old should £50m flop Aaron Wan-Bissaka depart, although will face competition from La Liga side Villarreal for the United States international’s signature.
Writing on Twitter about that interest, the transfer guru stated: “Excl: Sergiño Dest’s now considering a loan proposal from Villarreal, he’s open to discuss about it. Talks on with Barça — it’s up to the player. Manchester United manager ten Hag wants Dest, it’s a possibility but it can only happen if Wan-Bissaka will leave.”
Manchester Evening News have also reported that United have held talks regarding taking the highly-rated right-back on a season-long loan deal, with the Netherlands-born gem having worked under Ten Hag at Ajax.
There had been previous suggestion that a swap deal could be on the cards involving the 17-cap gem and Wan-Bissaka, with the latter man also attracting interest from the likes of West Ham United and former club Crystal Palace.
While Diogo Dalot has been much improved in recent weeks – notably registering an assist in the 1-0 win over Southampton at the weekend – the right side of the defence remains something of a problem area for the Old Trafford outfit, hence turning to Dest as a solution.
The “special talent” – as described by broadcaster Ives Galarcep – is yet another name with an Amsterdam connection to Ten Hag, with the Dutchman having already brought in Lisandro Martinez and Antony so far this summer.
Indeed, the Dutch boss would surely love to sign him given the £16.2m-rated ace can help the 52-year-old smoothly implement his style of play, having enjoyed a breakthrough campaign under his former manager during the 2019/20 season at the Eredivisie outfit.
That form alerted the attention of those at the Camp Nou, with the 5 foot 9 menace having gone on to rack up 72 appearances in all competitions for the Catalan giants, scoring three goals and providing five assists in that time.
A forward-thinking, attack-minded full-back, the £99k-per-week sensation could well prove to be an astute alternative to that of another reported target, Achraf Hakimi, with the latter man likely to prove far more costly having signed for current club Paris Saint-Germain for £60m just last summer.
The pair are believed to share a number of stylistic and statistical similarities, as per FBref, with Dest averaging 3.13 touches in the attacking penalty area and 3.43 progressive passes received per 90, with Hakimi almost mirroring that record as he averages 2.94 and 3.85 for the same two metrics, respectively.
Both clearly intent on impacting the game in the final third, the duo are also hugely comfortable in possession, with the latter man ranking in the top 1% for pass completion among those in his position across Europe’s top five leagues, while Dest is not far behind as he ranks in the top 5%.
It bodes well for those at the Theatre of Dreams to think that they could have a Hakimi-esque figure on their hands on a bargain, loan deal, with the PSG man having proven his talents at a string of top clubs across the continent – notably recording 13 goals and assists in just 46 games at the Parcs des Princes.
While Dest is still to truly hit those heights, the statistical evidence would suggest that he does possess a similar attacking quality, with his arrival in Manchester also potentially a better fit as Hakimi is typically at his best in a wing-back role.
It will require a lot of moving parts to get the deal over the line, although Ten Hag will no doubt love it if his new club can pull off a much-needed late addition.