Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu might have to ‘go into hiding’ if the club decided to sell teenage star Ansu Fati, according to a report.
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 has been interest in Ansu for a while from many clubs,” ESPN cite a Barcelona club source as saying. “Even Real Madrid were monitoring him before he renewed his contract.
“It is not news to us that clubs are asking about him, but Barca will not sell. Ansu is the future of the club and if he was sold, Bartomeu may even have to go into hiding!”
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.