The intrigue surrounding the situation of USMNT defender Sergiño Dest was finally sorted in the final hours of the transfer window, with the American heading to Italian giants AC Milan for the season.
Barcelona has made no secret of their wish to move their American commodity off of their books for the season, however, none of the many rumored options in England, Spain, and beyond throughout the summer panned out.
However, as first reported on Wednesday afternoon and finally confirmed by the Italians today, he will join reigning Italian champions AC Milan on loan for the season, with the deal also including an option for a permanent transfer.
“AC Milan is pleased to announce that Sergiño Gianni Dest has joined the Club on loan from Barcelona FC, with an option to buy,” the Italians announced in a press release.
While no firm details were given in regards to the purchase option, numbers floated in the press have put the figure at €20 million, just short of the initial amount that Barcelona paid to secure his services two years ago.
In Milan, Dest is joining a team that will be amongst the favorites to finish as champions in Italy’s Serie A. While they are only sixth in the league standings through four games, they are considered as one of the odds-on favorites to repeat their title-winning campaign of last season.
The move comes hours after American basketball star Lebron James was revealed as a partial owner of the Italian team through his involvement with investment group RedBird Capital Partners.
This transfer does mean that Dest will be paired against Christian Pulisic’s Chelsea in Group E of the Champions League, along with RB Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb. This does however put an end to the unique situation of having an American featured in every group in the competition.
Depending on how fast Milan head coach Stefano Pioli opts to integrate Dest into the roster, he could make his as early as Saturday in the Derby della Madonnina against city rivals Inter Milan.
More likely would be his involvement in their trip to Salzburg on Tuesday, or their visit to Sampdoria in league play on Saturday, September 10.