Barcelona teenage star Ansu Fati is set to play for Spain in the Under-17 World Cup before being promoted to the Under-21s, say Marca.
Fati – born in Guinea Bissau and also eligible to play for Portugal – scored and assisted on his first start for the Blaugrana in their 5-2 win over Valencia earlier this month.
The 16-year-old now looks set to play for Spain’s Under-17 side in next month’s World Cup in Brazil after the Spanish FA ensured the paperwork was processed, as outlined by El Mundo Deportivo.
That means that the Catalan giants will miss the player for up to five weeks of first-team action, which the club are said to be particularly unhappy about.
There are concerns in the Spanish FA that playing at the Under-17 level will not benefit him and the Under-21 would provide him with a true reflection of his talent, and prepare him for the 2020 Olympics squad.
Spain national team boss Robert Moreno outlined how the Federation were keen on nationalising the player, who moved to the nation as a child along with his parents.
“The people of the Federation are working on allowing Ansu Fati to play for us,” Moreno told reporters on Movistar TV, as cited by Marca.
“And then it will be the decision of the player (born in Guinea Bissau). The Federation works to have the best players.
“He is a joy when playing for Barça, a player who left the Masía. You have to be calm and I hope he has that.”