Sergiño Dest joins PSV from Barcelona on free transfer

Barcelona and United States right-back Sergiño Dest has joined Eredivisie side PSV Eindhoven on a free transfer, the Catalan club confirmed.

Barça will receive a percentage of any future transfer as part of the deal for Dest, whose contract with the LaLiga side was due to expire next summer.

Dest, 23, spent last season on loan at PSV, but the Dutch team turned down the option to make the move permanent for €11 million ($11.9m) after he tore his ACL in April.

However, negotiations over a new low-cost agreement continued with Barça, leading to Saturday’s announcement that the U.S. international will return to the Netherlands on a permanent basis, where he will continue his rehabilitation.

Dest has signed a contract with PSV until 2028.

“First of all, PSV believes in me and I am greatly appreciated here,” Dest said. “I got to know the club and it is incredibly warm, like I have never experienced anywhere before.

“Those are important aspects for someone in my situation and give me confidence that I can rehabilitate well here. I’m really looking forward to getting minutes again, being important and winning more titles.”

Barça had hoped to raise more than €10m through the departure of Dest this summer, but the injury he picked up this year made that impossible as his contract ran down.

The initial expectation was that he would be out for around 10 months after undergoing surgery, ruling him out of the Copa América with the USMNT and keeping him sidelined until February next year.

Prior to his injury, he had impressed in his 37 appearances for Dutch champions PSV, but they were not willing to pay €11m for him once he was ruled out for so long.

Despite that, they always maintained an interest in bringing Dest back permanently.

“We have discussed it internally, but Sergiño convinced us so much last season that we absolutely did not want to miss the opportunity to sign him on a full time basis,” PSV’s director of football Earnie Stewart said.

“He has so many qualities. The [injury] situation doesn’t change that. He played an important role in the 25th national title. His arrival is a very good start to the transfer window.”

Dest broke through at Dutch side Ajax before joining Barcelona for around €20m in 2020.

He made 72 appearances in his first two seasons with the LaLiga giants, but spent the last two years out on loan, first in Italy with AC Milan, where he was limited to just 14 games, and then with PSV.

Born in the Netherlands, Dest is eligible to play for the USMNT through his Surinamese-American father and, after representing the country at youth level, he confirmed his desire to play for the U.S over the Oranje in 2019.

He has gone on to make 33 appearances for the USMNT, scoring two goals.