Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has warned off all clubs interested in youngster Anssumane Fati by emphatically declaring the number 10 “not for sale”.
Ansu Fati has not been at his brilliant best for over a year since spending the bulk of his 19th year on earth and his third full season as a Barcelona first team player on the sidelines due to injury.
His talents deemed him worthy of inheriting the heavy shirt of Lionel Messi, who gave his blessings to the youngster just before leaving Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain. But since the injury, he has failed to hit those heights which saw him lead Barcelona to glory against tough opponents just like a young Messi did all those years ago.
The glimpses of his talent are still there, with his finishing especially sharp. However, his burst of pace and confidence to take on players one on one seems to have been lost, no thanks to trauma from his long-term injury. Barcelona is working on getting him back to his best as they believe he can be their next Messi.
In the meantime, Barcelona are having to deal with clubs who are hoping to take advantage of their precarious financial situation to pry Fati and other young talents away from the Spotify Camp Nou. Some reports even claim that the club could listen to offers and sell the young Spaniard to the highest and best bidder.
However, Xavi has stated plainly that Ansu Fati will not leave Barcelona for “any price” in the near future.
Manchester United, Barcelona’s UEFA Europa League rivals on Thursday, are the club reportedly leading the charge to convince Ansu Fati to leave Spain.
The issue was brought up at the press conference before the match and Xavi emphatically put his foot down on keeping the player.
“I don’t understand why this is being talked about now in our press conferences,” said Xavi.
“There is no transfer window now so Ansu is not for sale. He is a very important player for us now and for the future.
“I have extraordinary confidence in him. Whether he has more or fewer minutes will depend on his performance. I really have blind faith in him.
“He will be a very important player for the present and the future. But he must be patient. There is too much rushing in everything.”
Fati, on the other hand, is said to be unhappy with the way Xavi has used him this season, and could consider a move to a big team where he can get more minutes. Having Jorge Mendes as an agent is also reason enough for Barcelona fans to fear that this could be true.
Xavi’s assurance should mean something to the Guinea-Bissau-born Spain international, however, and club president Joan Laporta will be forced to slow his roll on taking any decisions concerning Fati’s future at the Spotify Camp Nou.