Sergi Roberto has confirmed that he was on the radar of other clubs, before penning a new deal at Barcelona.
The 26-year-old has agreed terms on a new contract at the Nou Camp, which will keep him at the club until 2022 and includes a huge £440million buy-out clause.
Roberto has been linked with Premier League pair Manchester City and Manchester United, but the midfielder insists he has never wanted to leave his hometown club.
The career of @SergiRoberto10 is an example for our young players. Modesty, persistence, identification and talent define a 100% blaugrana path, His contract extension until 2022 reinforces the FC Barcelona sporting project #SergiRoberto2022 pic.twitter.com/1CqfoGSIk7
— Josep Maria Bartomeu (@jmbartomeu) February 22, 2018
“Since renewal talks began, I always wanted to be here. It’s the club of my life and I’ve been a fan since I was small,” he said.
“It’s true that other clubs were interested, but I wanted to be here and I’m happy to have renewed until 2022. If I can continue even longer, then so much the better.
“I hope it’s not the last contract I sign. My desire is to retire here and hopefully I can follow in the footsteps of Andres Iniesta and Leo Messi.”
? @SergiRoberto10: “Linking up with #Messi is really easy because he makes everything easier. He is the best player in the world and alongside him we are all better” #SergiRoberto2022 pic.twitter.com/8xDEywIamy
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 22, 2018
Roberto has made 34 appearances for Barcelona this season, with his objective now to force his way into the Spain squad for the summer’s World Cup.
“To play in the World Cup with Spain would be a dream. I’ve already played in an Under-17s World Cup and another at under-20. Any player would want to go to a World Cup,” he added.
“I’m close because I’ve been called up to several squads and I hope Julen Lopetegui gives me the opportunity to be at the World Cup. At the very least, I am going to work hard for it.”