Barcelona director Xavier Vilajoana has poured cold water on claims that Ansu Fati could be sold by the club this summer.
It was reported by Diario Sport this week that Manchester United have seen a €100m approach for the player knocked back but were preparing a new and improved offer, while ESPN said United believed their interest was being used by the player as leverage for a new contract at the Camp Nou.
The teenager star has a contract until 2022 with a €170m release clause but figures at United believe their interest is being used in order for the player to secure a new deal at the Catalan club, which would see his contract extended until 2024 and the release clause increased to €400m.
“There is nothing to say about Ansu, he will not be leaving,” Vilajoana told a wide-ranging interview with Diario Sport. “We do not see our academy players as a transfer value, we will not sell players who will make the first-team squad.”
The Blaugrana believe Fati will play a part in the club’s first-team squad for the rest of this season and going into the future under boss Quique Seiten, viewing him as non-transferable – even though they are looking to sell several first-team squad players this summer.
The Catalan giants are well stocked in the attacking department – Martin Braithwaite arrived in February while Luis Suarez is back to full fitness and Ousmane Dembele will be back in August, with Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann also limiting Fati’s gametime.
The 17-year-old forward, who is the youngest player to score for Barcelona in La Liga is said to be held in high esteem by United and officials at Barcelona which to elevate his clause and status further.
Fati – born in Guinea Bissau, who now has Spanish nationality and also qualifies to represent Portugal – scored and assisted on his first start for the Blaugrana in their 5-2 win over Valencia in September and his level of performance has generated a great level of excitement.
Fati has also become a Spain Under-21 international in recent months after his nationality papers were processed.