Barcelona have turned down a huge offer of €100 million ($112m) for 17-year-old striker Ansu Fati from a major club.
The teenager has enjoyed a stellar breakthrough season at the Camp Nou in 2019-20 that has clearly not gone unnoticed around Europe ahead of the summer transfer window.
On Thursday during a virtual meeting, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu was told that a “major club” was willing to offer more than $112m for Fati, according to Joan Vehil at Sport.
Yet Bartomeu made it clear this was not a topic for discussion. Indeed his message to his colleagues was short and to the point: “Ansu Fati is not for sale. No more talk.”
The teenager signed a new and improved contract in December 2019 that runs until 2022 with the option of two more seasons. The new deal also saw Barcelona increase his buyout clause to €170m ($191m).
Fati Tipped to Be Barcelona’s Next Big Thing
There is no doubt that the emergence of Fati has been one of the high points in a chaotic season for Barcelona on and off the pitch. The teenager became the second-youngest player to debut for Barcelona in August, aged 16 years and 298 days, and took little time to make an impression.
He scored against Osasuna to become the club’s youngest La Liga goalscorer, became the youngest player to score a goal, and grab an assist in Spain’s top-flight against Valencia and was on target again versus Inter to become the Champions League’s youngest goalscorer.
Fati clearly has a very bright future ahead of him and it looks certain more records will follow if he continues on his current trajectory. His very first coach, José Luis Pérez Mena, told EFE just how highly he rates the youngster.
“I’ve been in the football game for 50 years and I’ve never seen anything like him. He’s got huge personality, he doesn’t fear anyone and you only need to see him on the pitch to see that.”
But Barcelona Do Need to Make Sales
Barcelona’s unwillingness to even contemplate such a bid for Fati speaks volumes about their faith in the young forward, particularly given their current difficult financial situation.
The club’s transfer budget has been wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic and means they “will only be able to use money from sales of players to make other signings this summer,” according to Moises Llorens and Sam Marsden at ESPN.
Barcelona also needs to raise money by the end of June to balance the books. The club have to bring in €70m ($79m) but are struggling to offload unwanted stars, according to Marca’s Ramiro Aldunate.
It had previously been widely assumed that only Lionel Messi, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, and Frenkie de Jong are ‘untouchable’ at Barcelona. It seems you can now add Ansu Fati to that list.