Sergino Dest (left) and Canada midfielder Jonathan Osorio battle for the ball during the second half of a CONCACAF Nations League game in 2019. (Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)
Sergino Dest Thursday became the first U.S. player to join Barcelona FC.
Ajax sold the U.S. international right back to the La Liga powerhouse. Dest will sign a contract through the 2024-25 season.
The 19-year-old defender will have a buyout clause of $470 million in his contract after Barca won a transfer battle with Bayern Munich for the Dutch-American player.
Barcelona announced the transfer will cost just under $25 million with about another $6 million possible in incentives.
Born in the Netherlands in Almere, which is 20 miles from Amsterdam, Dest had an opportunity of playing for the USMNT or Holland. He chose the former and made his full international debut for the Red, White and Blue six day before his 19th birthday last October.
Ironically, former Dutch international standout Ronald Koeman was the Netherlands head coach at the time. Koeman is the current Barca boss.
“He told me of his disappointment but he understood my decision,” Dest was quoted by the Barca website. “At the end of the day, it’s my decision for the rest of my life and I have to live with it, for better or for worse.”
“I grew up in Holland and I know that playing for the oranje I would have played with some of the best players in the world but it is a decision based on feelings.”