However, Barcelona appear unprepared to sell Roberto after already losing Neymar to PSG, with Mundo Deportivo claiming that Barca have turned down the initial offer from United. Luis Enrique was in dire need of a right-back since the departure of Dani Alves, especially with Aleix Vidal failing to impress the manager.
It all feels like an operation to strengthen Roberto's stance at Barcelona, and that's likelier to be the Catalan press acting independently, rather than the player's representatives trying to push the story.
The Chelsea preferred XI of last season started at least 26 league games each and eight of them began 30 games or more.
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Following the incredible departure of Neymar to Champions League rivals PSG, Barcelona can not afford to see another first-team player exit the Camp Nou this summer.
Chelsea are believed to be pursuing cover in central midfield after selling Nemanja Matic to United for £40m.
The Catalans have stated that Sergi Roberto's wishes are to remain with Barca, but have also said that "there is plenty of time remaining before the transfer window closes and things can still happen".
It will be interesting to see if the club changes its stance on the player's unavailability or the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea are forced to look elsewhere to reinforce their respective squads.