Reports coming out of Spain and England claim that Barcelona could sell Ansu Fati and Arsenal are the frontrunners for the 20-year-old’s signature.
After a stellar debut and first full seasons, Barcelona fans and followers of European football the world over believed that the Catalan giants had found Lionel Messi’s heir. The mercurial Argentine himself assisted Fati’s first senior goal for Barcelona like Ronaldinho did for him all those years, and gave the Guinea-Bissau-born Spaniard his seal of approval.
However, an injury suffered in 2020 against Getafe has derailed the youngster’s career as his sharpness has declined by a lot. He is now struggling to make an impact in games and the heavy burden of Messi’s number 10 shirt which he inherited when the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner left for Paris Saint-Germain seems also to be weighing him down.
Barcelona continue to count on him regardless, as he is one of a group of seven that president Joan Laporta had reportedly slapped a “not for sale” tag on after he assumed office and completed his first transfer window.
That decision seems to have been rescinded, per reports, and the club have their worsening financial woes to blame.
Barcelona continue to nurse a bulging wage budget despite their huge debt and are running out of economic levers to salvage the situation. The club owe north of £900 million to several clubs for unpaid transfers as well as other business dealings. LaLiga’s financial fair play rules are also stiff and forcing them to consider their options.
This prevented them from carrying out any business in the January transfer window. It also almost kept them from registering their players with LaLiga, as they had to take to the courts to seek an injunction to register Gavi as a first team player following the renewal of the 19-year-old’s contract at the club.
It has now become necessary to sell some of their most prized personnel and Ansu Fati could be the first to go, per the reports.
Several teams have set their sights on Fati including German giants Bayern Munich. However, Arsenal are reported to be in the lead for his signature should Barcelona eventually decide to let go of the player.
The 20-year-old could fetch Barcelona up to £70 million which will go a long way to help Barcelona’s case next season. The manager, Xavi Hernandez, refused to discuss the issue ahead of their win against Sevilla on Sunday night which extended their lead at the top of LaLiga to eight points.
“You have to be patient with him, things will work out for him,” Xavi said during the press conference ahead of the win. “We trust him a lot. He has a tremendous mentality and he is a club asset. Patience, he needs time, this is not the time to talk about sales.”