Ernesto Valverde has called on the Spanish FA not to consider teenage star Ansu Fati for Under-17 duty for the nation.
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.
However, there have since been suggestions that Fati – who could miss five weeks of first team action for the Blaugrana if he played for Spain’s Under-17 side – may now be called into the Under-21 side instead.
“I would like him to spend more time with us, so if he goes with the Under-21 team this would be the case,” Valverde told reporters on Friday at his pre-match press conference, as cited by Marca.
“Instead if he goes with the Under-17 team then he would be with the team a lot less. You have to wait to see what happens and make decisions.”
Valverde then spoke of his side’s upcoming trip to Getafe on Saturday: “It will be a similar game to the previous years – a difficult team who are hard to beat.
“They have great matches particularly at home and give away very little, I think we need to step forward and produce one of our best performances.
“Getafe will demand a lot for us and they will force us to be at our best to win.”